The video began to play on the Jumbotron at TD Garden when the first quarter ended, and the crowd fell silent.
But the Celtics did not stay in a huddle to talk about the game, their home opener Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Instead, led by coach Brad Stevens, the players came out and stood near center court, craning their necks toward the sky.
What played above them was a montage from the career of arguably the greatest Celtic of all, Bill Russell, who a few hours earlier Friday had a 7-foot-5-inch bronze statue in his likeness unveiled at City Hall Plaza. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.