Incline Village (United States) (AFP) - NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell was hospitalized Thursday after collapsing during a corporate speaking event at a resort town on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
The Boston Celtics released a statement saying that the 80-year-old Russell is conscious and recovering in a Nevada hospital, and is hopeful that he will be able to fly back to his Seattle-area home Thursday.
According to witnesses, Russell began to feel faint while making his speech and fell to the floor before being carried out of the Hyatt Regency hotel on a stretcher.
Russell was arrested nine months ago after airport officials in Seattle found him trying to board a flight with a loaded hand gun in his carry-on luggage.
Russell later apologized saying he accidently left the .38-calibre Smith & Wesson in his bag.
Russell won 11 NBA titles during a brilliant 13-year career with the Celtics from 1956-69, serving the final three seasons as a player-coach. The former centre was selected as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.