Bill Russell
was the NBA's greatest of all time. He was a GOAT! Hailing from West Monroe, LA, the 6'10 basketball superstar put up some major stats throughout his career. Some will even say he transformed the world of pro basketball playing Center for the Boston Celtics dynasty through the 60s.

Russell was a 5-time MVP, the 11-time champion, 12-time All-Star, one of the greatest shot blockers of all time, tallied 21,620 rebounds throughout his career and was the first African American to coach an NBA team. His career with the Celtics spanned 13 years after which he later became the league's first Black coach. At age of 88, the iconic basketball player passed away on Sunday, July 31, 2022, peacefully with his wife, Jeannine, by his side. The cause of death was not mentioned, but it was known that Russell's health was poor due to a long-term illness. In June, he was too ill to present the NBA Finals MVP trophy.

Bill Russell was much more than a basketball player. He marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.during the 1963 March on Washington, stood behind Mahommed Ali when he refused to go to the military, and more. For his work on the frontline fighting for social justice, the NBA Hall of Famer was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama. 

After learning of Russell's passing Obama took to Facebook to pay tribute to his friend and NBA legend, beginning his statement with "Today we lost a giant."



LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.