It certainly is a sad day for the NBA world. After all, Russell’s legacy extends beyond just his contributions on the court.
As Wade pointed out, Russell was a pioneer. He helped fight for civil rights during a time when racial discrimination was rampant. Russell was even subjected to racism from fans of his home team, the Boston Celtics. As a result, the big man had a less-than-pleasant relationship with the people of Boston.
Russell even declined to attend his jersey retirement ceremony in 1972 and induction to the Hall of Fame three years later. Over time, his relationship with the city improved. The franchise re-retired his jersey in 1999 with Russell in attendance, and he received a prolonged standing ovation from the audience.
On the basketball court, Russell had an unbelievable career. He is perhaps most known for helping the Celtics win 11 championships during his time with the organization. The 12-time NBA All-Star was just 23 years old when he won his first title.
As for Wade, he is no stranger to winning a championship at such a young age. He was just 24 years old when he led Miami to the 2006 NBA title.
Wade and many other people around the sports world are certainly going to miss Russell. His impact will never be forgotten.