Today in Sports History: April 16

Bill Russell became the first African American coach in the NBA in 1966 when he became the coach of the Boston Celtics. After two championships wins, he went on to coach the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings. He has a .540 win-loss record as head coach. Russell was also a player-coach during his final three seasons and led the team to two championships. As a player, Russell was known for his defensive skills, shot-blocking, and ability to grab both defensive and offensive rebounds. Russell played 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics and participated in 11 NBA championships. Prior to his NBA debut, Russell was the captain of the U.S. national basketball team and led them to victory in the 1956 Summer Olympics. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975. In 2009, NBA commissioner David Stern recognized Russell by naming the NBA Finals MVP trophy in his honor. Two years later, he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement

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