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Bill Russell collapses while delivering speech, feeling better

Jul 18, 2014, 10:33 AM EST

Bill Russell Bill Russell

A couple years ago, Bill Russell had heart procedures, but he recovered well and has been doing fine since.

He got a long overdue statue in Boston and was honored at the All-Star Game.

There’s a lot left to celebrate of Russell’s life – and hopefully we’ll have plenty of time to do so, even after this scary incident.

ESPN:

Basketball legend Bill Russell was hospitalized Thursday after feeling faint while giving a speech in Nevada, the Boston Celtics said.

Russell, 80, left the event at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital as a precaution, according to the Celtics.

The Hall of Fame center is “feeling better,” the Celtics said, and is expected to fly back to his Seattle-area home as early as Thursday night.

Witness Michael Rooney told The Associated Press that Russell was telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain to a roomful of Konica Minolta employees when he started to sway at the podium and then fell backward. Rooney says Russell seemed to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid. The meeting was cut short and attendees left.

Russell and Chamberlain shared a great personal rivalry, but in head-to-head matchups, Russell’s Celtics usually topped Chamberlain’s team. So, I definitely believe Russell is doing better.

As usual, he wasn’t going to let Chamberlain best him.

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