Bill Russell understandably is proud of how Boston commemorated his latest achievement.
The Celtics legend thanked Boston mayor Marty Walsh on Wednesday night via Twitter for lighting Boston City Hall green in honor of his winning of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2019 ESPY Awards.
Russell, 85, has spent much of his life advocating for civil rights and other important causes such as mentoring children. His off-court work makes him embody the spirit of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which ESPN bestows upon recipients who “reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”
The Celtics and TD Garden also praised Russell for his Arthur Ashe Courage Award win via Twitter, as did the Golden State Warriors, who will move to his native San Francisco next season.
Russell is the first athlete who played for a Boston sports team to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. He spent 13 seasons between 1956 and 1969 with the Celtics as a player and coach, spurring the team to 11 NBA championsips during that span.