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Bill Russell statue to be at City Hall in Boston

Jul 11, 2011, 9:19 PM EDT

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Bill Russell was not just a guy who won the respect of players on his way to 11 NBA titles. He won the respect of a city not known for accepting black people at the time. He changed the NBA, and he changed Boston.

For that reason, it is fitting that the location for an overdue statue of Russell will not be outside The Garden but rather outside Boston City Hall. The team announced the location Monday.

The Committee chose City Hall Plaza as the location for a Bill Russell tribute statue, citing its prominent civic location and proximity to the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, and many of the city’s popular historic sites. The site was approved by the Committee and Bill Russell himself. The three artists have been asked to incorporate this idea into their proposals, which will be submitted in the fall. The City is also planning improvements to this part of City Hall Plaza, which will be coordinated with installation of the statue.

What that means is next time you’re hitting all the tourist spots in Boston — and be sure to stop by the Union Oyster House — you’ll see the statue of Russell. In a spot befitting his legacy to the city.

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