Yesterday, the sporting world mourned the loss of Bill Russell, former player and coach of the Boston Celtics.
His accolades were impressive on the court, but Russell was also an avid civil rights advocate, standing alongside Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in protest of the Vietnam War draft.
A recent article by ESPN captures exactly what Russell meant to the sports sphere and beyond in light of his passing.
“Bill Russell, a Pro Basketball Hall of Famer, Boston Celtics legend, and icon of American sports, has died at the age of 88. His death was announced in a statement on social media.
He is regarded as the ultimate winner. He won 11 NBA titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1959 to ’66. He holds the NBA Finals records for championships, appearances, game played, rebounds and minutes. He also won two NCAA titles at the University of San Francisco and a gold medal in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Russell’s 11 pro championships are tied, with Henri Richard, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, for the most by any athlete in NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL history.
“Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change,” his family’s statement read on Sunday.”
Read the rest of this article here.
Russell’s life was full of accomplishments, and many have taken the time to go back through his impressive career to honor him properly.
This article correctly labels Russell as the “ultimate winner,” but what does this title really mean?
Many people would argue that being a winner means that you have given your best effort in a specific sport, and likely that this status is something that was tangibly earned through a trophy or title.
Others would say that being a winner is an abstract concept, something unmeasured and completely subjective.
Bill Russell was the ultimate winner because he succeeded in both definitions of the word. As the winner of 11 NBA titles, he certainly got the titles necessary to be perceived as a winner, but his persona stretched far beyond the court.
As a civil rights advocate, Russell demonstrated his ability to lead and inspire others. His courage and passion for equality transcended his basketball career and solidified him as someone special.
He devoted his life to his sport and then to his passions, making him an influential and successful person in every sense of the word.
We should all follow his example. Russell’s dedication to basketball is reminiscent of commitment to your business, and you should strive for excellence everyday in this same manner.
Chase awards and accolades, but more importantly, always be seeking ways to improve and strengthen your business.
Bill Russell reminded us of the importance of hard work, dedication, and most important of all, living life to the fullest.
Begin following in his example today by automating your lead flow with Cloud Kennect.