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Statue Honoring Bill Russell To Be Unveiled

bill-russellA long awaited statue of the 11-time NBA champion and Celtics legend Bill Russell will be unveiled after a special ceremony that will begin at 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at Boston’s City Hall Plaza.

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will emcee the event and a large group of Celtic legends, Hall of Famers, politicians and musicians are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

NBA commissioner David Stern, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, NFL icon Jim Brown, and Basketball Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Elgin Baylor, George Gervin, Charles Barkley, and Clyde Drexler are all scheduled to attend the event. Celtic greats such as Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Walton, JoJo White, Sam Jones, and Satch Sanders are also scheduled to attend.

Ann Hirsch of Somerville designed the statue in collaboration with the Boston-based landscape architectural firm Pressley Associates and the Boston Art Commission.

Ten granite blocks will surround the statue for a total of 11 elements; each will represent Russell’s 11 championships with Boston. Each element will feature a key word and a corresponding phrase from Russell that highlights his wide array of accomplishments, spanning from his career both on and off the court.

The statue will also have a famous quote of Russell’s, “the most important measure of how good a game I’d played was how much better I’d made my teammates play,” etched into it.

President Barack Obama even wondered why the city of Boston didn’t already have a statue of Russell saying, “I hope that one day in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man.” The statue has been long overdue, but finally the time is now.

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