Golden State Warriors

NBA legend Bill Russell sends special message to Warriors president Rick Welts

Bill Russell doesn’t send an on-camera message to just anybody. But for Warriors president Rick Welts, Russell was sure to make time.

He’s an NBA legend in his golden years, and it’s a treasure that Russell, who turned 87 years old in February, is still around to represent the Boston Celtics and the best the league has to offer. Russell won an astonishing 11 NBA championships with the Celtics.

But when Welts announced he’d retire at the end of this season, Russell recorded a special thank you to the Hall of Fame executive. The two built a friendship when they were both with the Seattle Supersonics organization.

That’s pretty special. You can tell Welts was touched. And he should have been, for sure. The two share a pioneering spirit, with Russell an advocate for civil rights and Welts the first big-name, openly gay sports executive.

All Hall of Famers have a special connection, but it seems even more for Russell and Welts. And Russell’s message put an exclamation point on all Welts has done for the NBA loud enough for the entire league to hear.

(Photo credit: Kip-koech/flickr)

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