Credit: USA Today
After news of Bill Russell's death went public, the entire NBA community banded together to celebrate the life and career of one of basketball's greatest legends.
As teams, players, and fans issue their own statements about Russell's passing, videos of some of his best moments are being shared from all corners of the internet.
This week, one particular clip went viral that features Russell having a heartwarming encounter with Magic Johnson and Bill Russell. Check it out:
Younger fans and players never really got the chance to witness Russell in action. But for Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, they likely grew up watching the guy dominate the basketball world first-hand, and it clearly made an impact on how they viewed the superstar big man.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has worked closely with the legend, also got to experience Bill more than most and it's no coincidence that he considers him in the same tier as the game's all-time greats.
"Let me limit the pool of players first to former players and then number two to former players that I work with on a regular basis," said Silver when asked to reveal his Mount Rushmore. "So number one, Bill Russell, who I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with. He works in the league, and as you know I was just with him in Cleveland when he presented the MVP trophy in the finals. Number two, Michael Jordan, of course one of the owners in our league. Number three, Magic Johnson, who’s a licensee of the league and currently an owner of the WNBA Sparks. And number four, Larry Bird, president of basketball with the Indiana Pacers. So four gentlemen who we work with on a regular basis and who are on anyone’s list of the greatest players, but I’m being a little bit political by carving out the unique pool of former players who work with the league."
Clearly, Russell left a strong impression on those who he surrounded himself with. On the court, he was a pioneer who paved the way for many who followed him.
Off the court, tho, he was even more powerful, and he continued to stand for civil rights well after he retired from the NBA. He may be gone, but the man will never be forgotten and his legacy will live on through all those who were lucky enough to cross paths with him.
Video: Heartwarming Moment Between Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, And Larry Bird Goes Viral – Fadeaway World
Credit: USA Today