Bill Russell is now accepting his place in the NBA Hall of Fame after insisting for 44 years that he did not feel he was good enough to have been the first black man to be done the honour.
On Friday, Russell tweeted “In a private ceremony w/my wife & close friends A.Mourning @AnnMeyers @billwalton & others I accepted my #HOF ring. In ‘75 I refused being the 1st black player to go into the @Hoophall I felt others before me should have that honor. Good to see progress; ChuckCooperHOF19 @NBA”.
Russell, now 85, had a memorable time with the Boston Celtics where he won 11 championships. Personally, Russell was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) five times as well as making the All-Star rooster, 12 times.
But in 1975, Russell failed to attend the ceremony that would have seen him make history as the first black man in the NBA Hall of Fame.
The NBA was founded in 1946 and it was not until four years later, it allowed for the drafting of black people.
Chuck Cooper, a personal friend of Russell, was the first African-American player drafted by the NBA.