President Obama Gets Sneak Peek at Russell Statue

After decades of asking questions like, "why doesn't Bill Russell have a statue in the city of Boston", we are about to get our answer. It's a "he does" and it is being unveiled on Friday, November 1, 2013.

Bill Russell, quite simply, is one of the greatest of all time. 11 titles in 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics. 12 time NBA All-Star. 5 time NBA MVP. These are only a few of the accolades that Bill Russell achieved during his professional career.

In 2011, President Barack Obama gave Russell another medal for his collection- the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the highest civilian honor. During his speech honoring Russell, President Obama said, “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.” As it turns out, when a question that has been asked repeatedly for decades gets asked by the President of the United States, it gets answered a lot faster.

“I think the President’s comments certainly catalyzed a lot of thoughts and efforts that were going on in the city,’’ Celtics Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca, who collaborated extensively with Mayor Thomas M. Menino to honor Russell. “The Mayor has been the #1 biggest fan of this statue. So I think those comments really helped bring the Bill Russell Legacy Project Committee Members together to get this statue done. It’s so exciting because now it’s become a reality.”

President Barack Obama was in Boston yesterday speaking in support of the Affordable Care Act and was able to carve out some time for a special detour. Alongside Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Bill Russell himself, the trio was able to get a sneak peak at a most deserving piece of history.

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