SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Bill Russell says he’s finally ready to be a Hall of Famer.
The 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champ said on Twitter on Friday that he was presented with his Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony that comes three decades after he was first selected for the shrine at Springfield, Mass.
Russell didn’t attend his induction ceremony in 1975. He says he didn’t deserve to be the first black player inducted. He tweeted that “I felt others before me should have that honor.”
His tweet mentions Chuck Cooper, who in 1950 was the first African-American player drafted by the NBA and who was inducted this year.
Russell says the ceremony was attended by his wife, along with close friends and Hall of Famers Bill Walton, Ann Meyers and Alonzo Mourning.