NBA legend Bill Russell will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural NBA Awards Show on TNT, the NBA announced Thursday. From the press release:
The NBA and Turner today announced Bill Russell – a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics – will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first-ever NBA Awards on TNT, airing Monday, June 26, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Among his numerous athletic achievements, Russell was the first player to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NBA Championship and a college title. While playing at the University of San Francisco, he led his team to back-to-back championships (1955 and 1956). A civil rights pioneer, Russell became the first African American to coach a major professional sports team (1966) and win a championship when he guided the Celtics to back-to-back titles (1968 and 1969).
One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Russell won five NBA MVP Awards, earned 12 NBA All-Star selections and left an indelible mark as a superb shotblocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. The annual NBA Finals MVP Award is named in honor of Russell, an NBA Champion in all but two of his seasons as a player with Boston.
Russell’s 11 championships are the most of any player ever.