Obama on Bill Russell: ‘Today we lost a giant’

Former President Barack Obama on Sunday remembered basketball great Bill Russell as “the greatest champion in basketball history” and as “a civil rights trailblazer.”

“Today we lost a giant,” Obama tweeted shortly after Russell’s family announced that he had died on Sunday at 88. “As tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises far higher — both as a player and as a person.”

President Joe Biden spoke of Russell in similar terms. “Bill Russell is one of the greatest athletes in our history — an all-time champion of champions, and a good man and great American who did everything he could to deliver the promise of America for all Americans,” he said in a statement.

Russell was one of the towering figures in basketball history, leading the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA championships (two of them as a player-coach) in

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