Russell, 78, underwent a routine procedure to replace a valve in his heart. The procedure caused him to miss the Mentor's Golf Tournament he attends every year in New York, with the 11-time NBA champion sending his regrets. He vowed this will be the last one he misses, though, and he said he feels fine — with two major exceptions.
"The most I can do now is walk, but the two things I enjoy the most, I can't do this summer," Russell told NBA.com, while insisting he was never in any danger. "Drive my car, which every summer I drive across the country at least twice, and play golf every day. I can't do either one of those for a while.
"So, most of the summer I get to be a grouch."
Russell essentially stopped playing basketball altogether after he retired from the Celtics in 1969, even through five seasons as a coach with the SuperSonics and the Kings. He now lives in Seattle and golfs every day, a habit he intends to resume in about a month and a half. After he was released from the hospital, Russell said, there was a month straight of beautiful golfing weather.
"The gods must be punishing me for living such a good life," he said.
All we can say is to get well soon, and hit plenty of fairways and greens.
Photo via Flickr/aliyin