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The King’s Here Tonight

Bill Russell, an American giant, is gone.

My hero, the great Bill Russell, is dead.

Russell lived a full life. He took part in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He was seated in the front row of the crowd to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech.

No less powerful, Russell was the first Black head coach in a major American sports league.

President Obama awarded Bill Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom (Source: NY Times)

The single most devastating force

With two NCAA titles and 11 NBA championships, Russell was, in the words of Red Auerbach, his Hall of Fame coach, "the single most devastating force in the history of the game."

How did Russell become such a winner? Grit, determination, and courage.

"I’d look at everybody disdainfully, like a sleepy dragon who can’t be bothered to scare off another would-be hero. I wanted my look to say, ‘Hey, the king’s here tonight."

Long live the King.