WATCH: Bill Russell: Black coach of the Boston Celtics during the civil rights era

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The first Black coach of any major North American sport in modern history, Boston Celtics legendary big man Bill Russell is on the cusp for his second induction into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame for his work as a player-coach of the Celtics in the latter third of their unrivaled 1960s dynasty.

Dually enshrined as a player, far more of us are aware of Russel’s intimidating presence on the court, and how he helped transform the style of play in the NBA with his outlet passing and ferocious blocks. But less recollections of his time as a coach remain — and even less about what he faced from the media and fans for taking on the role of coach.

Watch the video embedded below to catch a glimpse of how Russell was seen by his peers at the time with this interview focusing on the Celtic great and his impact as a head coach — both in basketball and beyond — courtesy of CLNS Media.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!


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