The Herald reports. The mayor agrees, wants to put it on Causeway Street (but presumably not where it would look like Bobby Orr's about to tackle him).
On Facebook: Give Bill Russell a Statue, a Tunnel, SOMETHING.
Ted Williams. Zero championships. One tunnel.
Bill Russell. Eleven championships. No tunnel. No bridge. Nothing.
People in Boston will always say it is not because Russell was black, so - what is it if not race?
You forgot an Olympic gold medal and 2 College Championships.
21 times Bill Russell was in a win-or-go-home situation.
He won every time. That's right, 21-0.
Bill Russell is the greatest winner in the history of any team sport.
Then again, Bird doesn't have the rings Russell does and didn't have to back into Wilt to get any of them.
There's always the argument that Boston is so much better about race than it was and that the racism that denied Russell recognition within a 50-mile radius of Boston before has waned in recent years. The question then is "Why hasn't a statue of Russell been built in 'recent years.'" Wouldn't need city funding: Russell's got a lot of good friends in high places, including one of the former publishers of Metro who used to sit with him courtside.
Bird actually has a pair of his sneakers bronzed and on display next to the Red Auerbach statue in Fanueil Hall.
It's actually just a Converse ad. Just sayin'
You forgot his lifelong work with the Jimmy Fund, not to mention his six years of military service in both World War II and the Korean War.
I think Russell deserves a statue in Boston, but the Celtics could easily take care of that in the same way the Bruins did for Bobby Orr.
Pretty much the whole country served during World War II, and if you want to name something after someone related to the Jimmy Fund, name it after Sidney Farber. Bad enough that people think the cancer institute's took its name from someone called Dana Farber.
Bill Russell's leadership requires a fitting tribute, or two.
Given the Celtics' trademark characteristic of unparalleled dominance as champions - team work - wouldn't it be fitting to locate a statue of Russell right next to the one of Arnold Jacob Auerbach, his lifelong friend?
As for the second tribute, I think Bill should participate in making the decision. He's proven that his perspective and leadership is unparalleled.
How about a champions park on the closest greenway parcel to the Garden? It's a nice spot that always is near the tv cameras and is opposite the Zakim bridge vista....and is vacant Call it Russell Park and put in statues of Celtics and Bruins Hall of Famers as appropriate.
All of the land between Causeway Street and Haymarket is designated for development, not parks.
He's talking about that PARK just east of Causeway Street, dink. Portal Park is in no way slated for development and would be a great site for a statue.
As for the land between Haymarket and Causeway, it's going to be a long hike from "designated for development" to any actual development. Still lots of dark windows in the Archstone Avenir -- which can't even lure renters with a $2,500 rebate. One Canal is still basically a trailer behind the Grand Canal with no investors. Those parcels will be open a LONG time, if they're not just forked over to the conservancy.
While Russ's past comments concerning the city weren't exactly complimentary, and probably contributed to the lack of such tributes as statues, he's long since made his peace and, I would hope, all have made theirs with him.
The idea of his statue being with Red's is a great one. They both respected each other to the nth degree. If not there, though, how about the Garden entrance nearer the Zakim, since Orr has the other side already?
were spot on. Not his fault that it took Boston at large a few decades to figure it out... or for the worst elements to die off.
I don't see why he was ever even asked to apologise for his not making happy faces and being a jolly dude when he was not able to walk around freely in the city or able buy a home in the neighborhood of his choosing.
See also: Dee Brown.
Just to be clear, my mentioning his comments does not mean I felt he needed to apologize. I'm pretty sure you weren't speaking of me, personally, though.
If you mean in a general unspecified we-won't-like-you-until-you-tell-us-we're-not-racists sort of thing, yeah, some folks did want to hear that. And, by his appearing in various ways which he never would have even considered during his heyday (opening day ceremonies at Fenway, for instance, or in the audience at The Garden during the C's title run in 2008) then he has, as I said, made his own peace, and that should certainly be more than enough for the folks who needed to give even a second thought about it.
This isn't necessarily something to lump the cash-strapped city with.
Sure, the city hasn't put up a Russell statue yet...but neither have the Celtics...and they seem to be filling the Garden a few times a year, no?
This statue called "Teammates" at Fenway Park that went up last year wasn't paid for by the city. Hell, the mayor wasn't even there for the unveiling of it. The Red Sox have a ton of money and wanted to recognize their ball players. The Ted Williams and Jimmy Fund kid statue was also purely done by the team.
Instead of asking the city why it hasn't recognized Russell, how come the Herald didn't ask the Celtics why it didn't fund the statue once Kilbert Pierce found a company to make it but didn't have the funding? How about passing a hat around in the locker room...I'm pretty sure those guys have some loose change tossing about that would be more than enough. How much do *they* actually want to honor an "OG" as Garnett put it?
Why not rename the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge for him? It comes right up next to the Garden and most people don't know who Zakim is.
Given that Zakim worked on some of the issues Russell complained about.
No doubt someone could come up with a list of another thousand people who have done good deeds. Of course, they weren't connected. Zakim was no worse a choice than some random pol - or pol's wife, or pol's mother - but if the name of that bridge changed, very few people would shed a tear.
I have a sneaking feeling that most of the people who want a Bill Russell statue in Boston don't follow basketball, and never saw Russell play. For them, a Random Black Guy statue would do.
naming a bridge after someone who brought the black and Jewish communities and the Catholic and Jewish communities of this city together -- especially after the real estate shenanigans in Mattapan and Roxbury -- really sucks, doesn't it?
"Connected." Listen to this guy, completely unable to tell who actually did some good in this city and who made sure that Jimmy, Sully, Tommy, Ronnie and the rest of the crew at Paddy O'Cirrhosis' all got a cut every time someone put a shovel to dirt in their neighborhood.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the guy who posted this little tidbit about the Russell statue saw him play, yelled slurs at him from the barstool and threw rocks at school buses in his spare time. For him, a statue of a black businessman about to get run through with the American flag would do.
Zakim was important to some folks, so why take away from his honor? If we re-name things originally named in honor of someone, at whim and because we feel somebody else is more worthy, then we'll someday re-name the re-named stuff, too. It doesn't make for a culture where such honors have the sense of permanency most would probably desire.
Better to re-name something that does not bear the name of another at present. Someone else suggested Causeway Street or Canal Street. IMHO, those are better choices.
They are named for things that used to be part of Boston's geography back in the early 1800s. Which are also worth remembering. So I'd rather find something else to rename. How about Haverhill Street or Nashua Street?
That's the Boston tradition.
First, give us back Scollay - then we'll talk.
Love it when the suburbanites get all weepy over grandpa's slum that they never lived in. The whores of Scollay Square that you loved so much have moved on, pal. It's called hotel concierge desks and the Internet. Try them.
Aren't most of the squares not named for politicians named for soldiers and sailors killed in combat? An awful lot of them seem to have gold star plaques associated with them.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that NOBODY gives a shit about Causeway or Canal streets. Canal street is where you get knockoff Fendi bags in New York's Chinatown. Causeway Street is a redundancy. I'm sure folks from the 1800s would be about as opposed to the change as people in 2211 will be when someone renames the Highway Street that used to be the Mass Pike for the first gay Red Sox player to win five World Series and hit .400 three years straight.
God damn, that's about the worst -- yet most Bostonian -- justification I've heard for not changing a name. I understand this place is averse to change, but that's just flimsy.
Ron Newman: you just got SERVED
I wonder if the Mayor has reached out to Russell on this recently (um, like since yesterday). It's a great relief to feel that this time, the momentum to make something happen will probably carry through and be successful . . . in Bill's lifetime.
On a lighter note, re:
The mayor agrees, wants to put it on Causeway Street (but presumably not where it would look like Bobby Orr's about to tackle him)
Last year I joked on twitter that "the Flying Bronze Orr statue [in front of the Garden] will make more sense when they put the Bill Russell statute up behind, kicking Bobby in the ass." A joke for sure (easy to visualize if you are familiar with the Orr statue), but also an expression of frustration over the fact that there was still no commemoration of Russell in Boston.
According to today's paper, looks like outreach and commitments are coming forward. Remember, the Celtics don't own the Garden site and the City doesn't own the park over the highway. Somehow, this will all work out.
How about Orr-Russell Causeway? No statue needed.