The Boston Celtics hosted the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night as the NBA kicked off its 2022-23 season.
It was a great night for Boston, who put the 76ers down and got a strong win for the first game of the season.
The evening was already an important one for this Boston team but it was made even more special because the game was a chance to honor Bill Russell.
Russell, one of the most celebrated basketball players of all time, passed away in July at the age of 88.
Jaylen Brown spoke in honor of Bill Russell before this game and clearly put a lot of thought into his words. Powerful stuff: "Bill Russell was the greatest of men."
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) October 18, 2022
The Celtics opened the night with multiple dedications to Russell, including a massive number 6 imposed on the court, a poem about him, and a speech from Jaylen Brown.
Brown’s words about Russell were really touching.
He spoke of all the man did for the game and the players and referred to Russel as “the greatest of men.”
The crowd was supportive of Brown’s speech and gave him – and Russell, of course – a standing ovation.
The Legacy Of Bill Russell
There have been very few players like Russell in the history of the NBA.
In fact, there really hasn’t been anyone just like him.
The Hall of Famers was a 12-time All-Star and an 11-time NBA champion.
He played in the league for 13 years from 1956 to 1969 and won a ring in 11 of those seasons, which is still a stunning feat.
But Russell was also an athlete unlike any other, speaking out about civil rights and the freedom of Black Americans and sports stars.
This was a cause that Russell fought for his entire life and it was one of the many things that made him so incredibly rare and historic.
You can expect more dedications to Russell from several NBA teams all season long.