Celtics legend Bill Russell was honored yesterday with a statue at Boston City Hall. His track record is amazing: a five-time NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star. Oh, and during his 13-year career, he helped the Celtics win 11 NBA championships.
So, I was curious about what he would say in his speech and found the full text here. When you’re 75 years-old, you get that right to tell the world what you think. It may be one of your last times in life with a microphone.
What I read blew me away. Humility, perspective and many surprising comments. Here are a few of snippets:
“From the first thing I can remember, my father and my mother loved me. So I went out into the world knowing I must be OK if they loved me….
“We didn’t have much, but there is something my father said: It is not what you give but what you share, for the gift without the giver is bare. My father’s philosophy was, always share what I have….
“One thing I’m proud of in these [friendshps] is that we never asked each other for anything but were willing to do whatever we can to enhance our friend’s life…. Of all the things that have happened to me in my life, the single most important thing is the friends that I have made….
“My father went through the sixth grade and he dropped out. I spent four years at the university. My daughter here graduated from Harvard Law School. In four generations, we went from no school at all to Harvard Law School. That’s the evolution of our family.”
Man, Bill Russell is great. Yes, a great basketball player, but a great person. He has true wisdom.