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Adam Silver Reacts To Death Of Celtics Legend Bill Russell

A closeup of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 16: Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, talks to the media during the NBA All Star Commissioner's Media Availability as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Basketball icon Bill Russell passed away Sunday at the age of 88.

After his family announced the unfortunate news, the NBA released a statement from commissioner Adam Silver honoring the former Boston Celtics great.

"Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports," Silver said. "The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics -- including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards -- only begin to tell the story of Bill's immense impact on our league and broader society."

Silver celebrated Russell's "trailblazing career" as the NBA's first Black coach and a proponent for change off the court.

"Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect, and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps."

Silver called Russell "the ultimate winner and consummate teammate" whose impact on the NBA "will be felt forever." He concluded by sending his condolences to Russell's family and friends.

Per the statement on his Twitter page, Russell died "peacefully" with his wife, Jeannine, at his side. 

Rest in peace to one of the greatest of all time.