He stopped at City Hall Plaza and posed next to a statue of Bill Russell, who’s arguably the greatest Celtics player of all-time. Brown posted the picture on his Instagram.
The statue sits outside of City Hall. The legend’s sculpture was bronzed and unveiled back in 2013. Brown’s only complaint about the statue is its height.
It is eight-feet-tall.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 8, 2020
2013: Boston Unveils Bill Russell Statue At City Hall Plaza
Perhaps, he’s right. It could be taller, especially, standing in such an open space such as City Hall Plaza. Personally, the size of Russell’s statue is towards the bottom of my list of complaints about Boston’s decision to finally give Bill his due.
I mean, didn’t the man go through enough awful things throughout his playing career to be recognized, I don’t know, at least, less than 40 years after he retired? He did help the franchise capture 11 championships as a player and a coach, which is head-and-shoulders above anyone who’s ever stepped foot in the NBA.
Complaint No.2 would be the location. While there is some significance to why the city elected City Hall Plaza as the perfect spot for Russell’s statue, outside of the building where the Celtics play – TD Garden, where 11 of his 17 championships hang in the rafters – is ideal.
1976: Boston’s Desegregation Busing Crisis
Unfortunately, racial tensions in Boston came to a head in 1976 in wake of the city’s desegregation busing crisis. Under court orders, Boston Public Schools were to desegregate through a system of busing students.
The response led to riots and racial protests. ROAR (Restore Our Alienated Rights) – an organization formed in protest of the court ruling – protested at City Hall, where this iconic photo was taken.
Russell’s statue stands not too far from where a photographer from the Boston Herald managed to capture the essence of Boston’s racial tension, at the time, while the American flag in the photo symbolized the racial tension that resonated throughout most of the nation.
2020: Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Celtics Honor Bill Russell
Brown recently joined a handful of his teammates in honoring Russell during the Celtics’ #BecauseOfYou campaign. Boston is recognizing people who have inspired greatness and spotlighted Russell’s career, on and off of the basketball court, for paving the way for players today.
“Because of you, it is okay to be an activist, and an athlete,” Brown said. “Because of you, kids that look like you believe that they can win. Because of you, there is a standard for being a human being and being an athlete. Because of you, it is okay to be more than a basketball player. Because of you, I am proud to be a Celtic.
“Thank you, Bill Russell – for everything.”
You are successfully significant, and #BecauseOfYou, so many lives have been changed for the better.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 3, 2020
Kemba Walker, Javonte Green, Marcus Smart, and others are also featured in the special tribute to Russell.