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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Russell refuses Hall induction
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
Feb. 8, 1975
Offering no explanation, former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell shuns the Basketball Hall of Fame, saying he will refuse induction. In his first year of eligibility, the five-time NBA MVP is voted into the Hall today.
"For my own personal reasons, which I don't want to discuss, I don't want to be a part of it," says Russell, the Seattle Sonics coach. "I'm not going."
Speculation is that Russell's decision has racial undertones since there are no other African-American players from the NBA in the Hall.
"If that's so, then he (Russell) is wrong," says Lee Williams, executive director of the Hall. "We have the original Rens in our honors court. They were elected in 1961 and consist of seven black players. Also, Robert Douglas, owner and manager of the Rens, is in the Hall of Fame."
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