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Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to eleven NBA titles in 13 years, has died at age 88.

Bill Russell, during his first years as a player for the Boston Celtics. Russell, who died Saturday, played with the Celtics from 1956 to 1969, and coached for the team from 1966 to '1969.

BOSTON (AP) — The NBA great Bill Russell has died at age 88.

His family said on social media that Russell died on Sunday in Mercer Island, Washington. The statement did not give the cause of death, but Russell was not well enough to present the NBA Finals MVP trophy in June due to a long illness.

Russell anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 titles in 13 years. His last two were as the first Black head coach in any major U.S. sport. He later coached for the Seattle Supersonics and the Sacramento Kings.

Russell was a Hall of Famer, five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. He won with defense and rebounding and waged battles with Wilt Chamberlain.

Russell also marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and stood with boxer Muhammad Ali when he refused military induction.

 

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Associated Press

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