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Bill Russell hospitalized, OK after scare

Bill Russell

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada (AP) — 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 won 11 championships with the Celtics and is considered one of the best players in NBA history. He was recently at the NBA Finals, awarding the trophy in his name [given to the Finals MVP] to the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard following Game 5 in San Antonio.


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