Russell, an 11-time champion with the Celts and five-time league MVP, was clearly overcome with emotion as he addressed the media. After noting the reason, he seemed to gather himself as he put the honor in basketball context.
“I want to thank my teammates, because we played a team game - quite well,” Russell said. “I accept this for my team, and my team included our coach, Red Auerbach, and all my teammates over the years. It’s quite flattering.