First black coach in a major professional sports league, Boston Celtics
In the 13 seasons 6-foot, 9-inch Russell played center for the Celtics, the team brought a championship banner to the Boston Garden 11 times, the final two as player-coach.
Russell had revolutionized the teams defensive strategy, focusing on assists and rebounds instead of simply scoring. When legendary coach Red Auerbach retired in 1966, Russell became the first African-American coach in a top professional sports league. He coached the Celtics for three years.