Bill Russell was a former American professional basketball player who was a great defensive center. Bill is five times NBA Most Valuable Player and he has won 11 NBA championships. Russell played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 13 years.
William Felton Russell was born in rural Louisiana on February 12, 1934. When Bill was eight years old, his parents with his brother Charlie L. Russell moved to Oakland, California, due to better job opportunities. Russel could have mastered any sport due to his raw strength but chose to do so for basketball. William created moments that will remains permanent in basketball's history.
Bill Russell died on July 31, 2022, in Mercer Island, Washington. According to reports, Russell's cause of death was his old age, and he died calmly with his fourth wife, Jeannine Russell, by his side.
For Bill Russell, it was a peaceful experience, and we hope his soul gets peacefully departed to heaven. Boston Celtics paid their tribute to the legendary Celtic, and players like Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Jayson Tatum, etc, conveyed their profound grief on Bill's demise.
Regarding relationships, Bill had it worse and more painful simultaneously. Russell and his first wife, Rose Swisher, got married in 1956. They eventually divorced after 17 years of marital life in 1973. During the 17 years of married life, the couple had three children Jacob Russell, William Russell Jr., and Karen Russell.
After his first wife's divorce, Bill married his girlfriend, Dorothy Anstett, an American pageant titleholder and model in 1977. Due to various controversies and racist viewpoints of third parties, their relationship lasted only three years and Russell divorced in 1980.
In 1996, Russell married his third wife, Marilyn Nault their relationship lasted over 13 years but at that time Bill wasn't divorced, his third wife's untimely demise in 2009 made him a widower. Following that Russell's first ex-wife Rose Swisher also died at the age of 78 on September 11, 2014.
The then-84-year-old married Jeannie Fiorito in 2018. He was married to his fourth wife, Jeannie Russell until his last breath in 2020.
Bill Russell's Net Worth at the time of his death was worth $10 million. During his professional career, he wasn't paid handsomely as basketball players' salaries weren't as high as today. Even the Rookie contract deal was 1956 was just $24,000, and Bill's salary at that time was merely $100,001 per season.
Bill Russell amassed his net worth through his basketball career and earned as a basketball coach after his retirement.
Russell had problems with money after he retired cause his investment worth $250,000 in the rubber plantation of Liberia went bankrupt. Then Bill got himself a loan from the government for his second investment, but it also had the same fate as the first one.
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Russell's defensive toughness and rebounding powers were the low points that the Celtics needed. The late NBA player provided the skill set that the Boston Celtics lacked. Bill Russell played with John Havlicek in the Celtics, and the duo had a great mutual understanding.
Bill controlled the game and helped them win significant matches and finals. He had the most rebounds after his great rival Wilt Chamberlain, i.e., 21,620 rebounds.
The former basketball player helped The Celtics win 11 NBA championships with eight championships on a streak and 2 championships won as player-coach. During the final season of his professional basketball career, Russell had an ankle injury and could not play for the Celtics, otherwise, he would have won 12 NBA championships.
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Bill was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975. After his retirement, the Boston Celtics retired his jersey number 6 on March 12, 1972. Bill proceeded to do commentary on basketball channels.
Russell had a knack for coaching; after his retirement, his life wasn't completely separated from basketball. Bill started his coaching career as the head coach for the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings.
Russell's coaching career didn't shine as brightly as his basketball career. Bill became vegetarian in his old age and worked as a color commentator but found it uncomfortable as time passed. Russell also became a commencement speaker for Suddolk University.
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The auction was held at TD Garden in Boston where the most notable item sold included Bill Russell's first championship ring and his last championship ring which was sold for $705,000 and $558,125 respectively.
Bill's 1956 Olympic gold medal was also auctioned for $587,500 and his five MVP awards were sold at a staggering price of $1.3 million.
Russell also auctioned his retired no.6 jersey which he wore during his career's final game. The final bid price for the jersey was $1.1 million. Know more about basketball players' valuable items that were auctioned.
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Bill was one of the most successful basketball athletes. Russell's timing and foresight when it came to blocking shots were unparalleled. Russell consistently averaged around 20 rebounds per game.
In Bill's professional basketball career, he won five NBA MVP awards and was a 12-time NBA All-Star. Russell got awarded all four NBA anniversary teams in 1970,1996 and 2021. In 2013, Bill Russell's statue was erected on City Hall Plaza in Boston.
Russell could master any sport but he chose basketball. His athleticism was unrivaled, and Russel's body was perfect for power play and reflex-heavy games. He stood at 6 feet 10 inches in height and weighed 215 pounds. Bill had a strong body with broad shoulders, contributing to his dominating ability over other players.