Celtics Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion, dies at 88

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Boston, Aug. 1 (BNA):  Former Boston Celtics star Bill Russell, one of the sports world's greatest winners as the anchor of a team that won 11 NBA championships, as well as the league's first black coach, died at the age of 88.
 
Russell, a five-time Most Valuable Player who was also outspoken on racial issues, passed away peacefully with his wife Jeannine by his side, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account that did not state a cause of death, Reuters reported.
 
"Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of the team sports," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
 
"The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – only begin to tell the story of Bill's immense impact on our league and broader society."
 
"Russell became a superstar in the 1950s and '60s not with flashy scoring plays but through dominating rebounding and intense defensive play that reshaped the game. He also had what teammate Tom Heinsohn called "a neurotic need to win".
 
The Celtics won 11 NBA titles in Russell's 13 years with the team from 1956 through 1969.
 
He was the player coach on two of those championship teams.
 
"To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was," the Celtics said in a statement.
 
"Bill Russell's DNA is woven through every element of the Celtics organization, from the relentless pursuit of excellence to the celebration of team rewards over individual glory, to a commitment to social justice and civil rights off the court.
 
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