Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion and five-time Most Valuable Player, is considered arguably the greatest center ever due to his championship pedigree. He was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team in October, and his name remains attached to the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player award.
On Sunday afternoon, the Phoenix Suns released a statement on Russell’s death, calling him “the greatest winner in the history of basketball.”
Our statement on the passing of NBA Legend Bill Russell. pic.twitter.com/YWQzhxzIzg— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 31, 2022
The Phoenix Mercury also posted a photo with Russell from 2018.
Taken in 2018.— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 31, 2022
Bill, who always made time to visit, told us before our first title in 2007, ‘ .’
We'll never forget all the generosity. Rest easy, Mr. Russell. pic.twitter.com/SZQGaNVhVc
Aside from the Suns’ team account, Devin Booker posted multiple pictures of Russell on his Instagram story, saying in one caption “Rest Easy OG.” Chris Paul made a tweet and Instagram post dedicated to Russell, and Suns legend Charles Barkley also released a statement.
Unapologetically himself at all times!! The ultimate leader and just happened to be one of the best hoopers ever! RIP Mr Russell, you will be dearly missed pic.twitter.com/30xXhoGXsj— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 31, 2022
Charles Barkley's statement regarding the passing of Bill Russell pic.twitter.com/kVwqnBchzO— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 31, 2022
Over his 13-year career, Russell played the Suns six times, winning all of those contests. The Suns also posted a photo of Russell at the 2009 All-Star weekend in Phoenix after it was announced the Finals’ Most Valuable Player award would be named in his honor.
“This is one of my proudest moments in basketball, because I determined early in my career, the only important statistic in basketball is the final score.”— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 31, 2022
- Bill Russell at the '09 All-Star Game in Phoenix after announced the NBA Finals MVP Award would be named in his honor pic.twitter.com/d4bNDEECRm
Rest easy, Mr. Russell.