Tom Brady remembers Bill Russell: 'He was a very impactful figure'

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Tom Brady remembers Bill Russell: 'He was a very impactful figure' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Bill Russell had a positive impact on so many people in Boston, including athletes on all of the city's teams from the four major sports leagues.

That includes former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowl titles during his 20 years in Foxboro from 2000 through 2019.

Russell passed away peacefully Sunday at age 88. The last 24 hours have seen an enormous amount of athletes paying tribute to Russell for his accomplishments on and off the basketball court.

Forsberg: Bill Russell set the standard for Celtics basketball

Brady was asked about Russell on Monday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback talked about getting to know the Celtics legend and the time he talked to the Patriots in training camp.

"I knew him pretty well,” Brady told reporters after the Bucs' training camp practice. "I had a lot of time up there in Boston and got to know him. He was a very impactful figure.

"Even back to my early days with the Patriots, my second year, in training camp he came and spoke to our team. Really an imposing figure. He had just a great presence about him. Obviously, what he overcame in his career was pretty unbelievable. It was a sad day (Sunday)."

If you were to build a Mt. Rushmore of Boston sports athletes, Russell and Brady would probably be the two easiest picks.

Russell won 11 championships in 13 seasons with the Celtics, along with five NBA MVP awards and a 10-0 record in Game 7s, in addition to his tremendous work off the court fighting for racial equality and social justice.

Brady's six Super Bowl titles are the most of any NFL player in history. The only Boston athletes with more championships won than Brady all played with Russell on the Celtics teams of the 1950s and 1960s.