Bill Russell Plans to Hit Golf Course Soon After Heart Surgery, Jokes He Will Be Grouchy In Meantime


Bill Russell Plans to Hit Golf Course Soon After Heart Surgery, Jokes He Will Be Grouchy In MeantimeBill Russell
seems to be in high spirits after an open-heart procedure three weeks ago that put a brief scare into Boston fans.

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

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