The incredible résumé of Bill Russell gets longer.
For the second time, the NBA legend has been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame — this time as a coach.
“This honor would not be possible without my good friend Red Auerbach,” Russell said in his acceptance speech. “Red was a visionary. When he first asked me if I wanted to coach the Boston Celtics, I wondered, ‘Could I coach Bill Russell?’ Coaching the Celtics was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I had during my 13 years in the NBA.”
Russell also paid tribute to the late NBA commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant in his speech.
Russell broke the coaching color barrier in North American professional sports when Red Auerbach hired him to serve as Boston’s player/coach, which he did for three seasons, winning the NBA title in 1968 and 1969.
The 12-time NBA All-Star, five-time MVP and 11-time NBA Champion was inducted to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975.
Celtics legend Paul Pierce and broadcaster Mike Gorman also were enshrined in Springfield this weekend.