SiriusXM remembers Bill Russell, 11-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics

Look back on Russell’s incredible professional sports career with SiriusXM hosts and guests.

Jackie Kolgraf
August 1, 2022

Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Hall of Fame basketball player Bill Russell, who won 11 titles with the Boston Celtics (eight consecutively from 1958-1966), passed away Sunday. Born on February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana, Russell played for the University of San Francisco, winning two NCAA championships, before being drafted by Celtics coach Red Auerbach in a trade to the St. Louis Hawks for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan in 1956. He became a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star.

In addition to weeklong commentary, interviews and guests, SiriusXM NBA Radio (Ch. 86) continues to pay tribute to Russell’s life and legacy with two specials:

August 2 at 4pm and 8pm ET

Hear the re-airing of an exclusive one-hour conversation Bill Russell had with Mark Thompson for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2014. Bill discussed his memories of Martin Luther King, his own family, and the importance of social justice in America.

August 3 at 7pm ET

Rick Kamla and Eddie Johnson discuss Bill Russell’s historic career and play back the fourth quarter of his final game. In Game 7 of 1969, Bill led the Celtics to a two-point victory over Jerry West and the Lakers as Boston won their 11th championship in 13 seasons.

Click here to stream SiriusXM NBA Radio

Russell’s Twitter account posted Sunday that “the most prolific winner in American sports history [had] passed away peacefully today at age 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side.”

The statement continued, “Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments [Russell] gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded.”

In keeping with those wishes, SiriusXM is sharing memories of Russell’s storied professional sports career as well as his lifelong social justice efforts.

On SiriusXM NBA Radio (Ch. 86), Eddie Johnson remembers, “When I got traded to Seattle, K.C. Jones — obviously [Bill’s] heavenly brother right now — was the coach. And Bill would come to practice all the time. And at times, he would disrupt practice, and it would drive K.C. crazy. But K.C. would never say anything, right? … And then [Bill would] start laughing.”

“As a result of [basketball] being a young sport, unfortunately, we have to watch our legends pass on,” Amin Elhassan shares.

On Mad Dog Sports Radio (Ch. 82), Stephen A. Smith said, “Being a Black man in the Civil Rights era and doing the things that he did in terms of his leadership, not just as a player, not just as a coach, but as the face of a franchise in a city as contentious as Boston was during that period of time — you just can’t say enough about the phenomenal figure that he was.”

Former Celtic Brian Scalabrine remembers when he about to sign with Boston, he found himself sitting on a plane next to fellow Seattle resident Bill Russell: “He didn’t know who I was, but once I introduced myself — ‘I’m playing for the Celtics next year,’ ‘Oh, yeah, I know you, I’ve seen you play’ — pretty much, like, think about it. I’m on a red-eye flight with Bill Russell, and he is talking the whole night through.”

Hear more tributes to Bill Russell through the week on SiriusXM’s sports channels, or search “Bill Russell” on the SXM App.