There is no doubt that Bill Russell left a huge legacy in the NBA, both on and off the court. The 6-foot-10 center was one of the first big men to play in the league for the Boston Celtics. With great dominance and athleticism, Russell proved that Black players should be the backbone of the league's success.

Alongside many huge athletes like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were eagered to make an impact about social injustice to Black people, ongoing war situations and many social causes regarding racism. 

That's why many NBA players especially Black know the huge relevance Russell had in the league at that time. Therefore, many Black starts like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and many more nowadays were able to play in the NBA as big stars.

NBA legends and stars react to Bill Russell's passing

Bill Russell's family posted an announcement early on Sunday, July 31 about his passing. Since then, social media was flooded with NBA stars, Hall-of-famers adressing this delicate situation, including Michael Jordan as well as Paul Pierce and Magic Johnson. Also, current Celtics' players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown posted about it.

"Bill Russell, was a pioneer - as a player, as an champion, as the NBA’s first Black head coach and as an activist. He paved the way and set an example for every Black player came into the league after him, including me. The world has lost a legend. My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace." Michael Jordan on Russell's passing, according to Shams Charania, NBA insider for the Athletic. 

Another of the many NBA former players who paid respects to Russell was Magic Johnson. He posted 6 tweets describing the importance Bill Russell had on him. "Bill Russell was my idol. I looked up to him on the court and off. His success on the court was undeniable; he was dominate and great, winning 11 NBA championships. Off the court, Bill Russell paved the way for guys like me." 

Paul Pierce, one of the most beloved Boston Celtics' player also tweeted about Rusell's death. The 10-time All-Star made a two-tweet tribute to the Celtics legend thanking him for his work in and outside of the court. Also, he mentioned one time when he sat down with him to listen to his stories. 
Current Boston Celtics player's like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also posted about Russell's death on their Twitter accounts. "RIP to one of the greatest athletes ever", mentioned Brown, while Tatum posted "Than you for everything! RIP legend."