Bill Russell’s documentary under works at Netflix

Bill Russell Documentary
Credits: YouTube | Nonstop sports

Netflix is known for its brilliant biographic documentaries which usually depict the life of a person in a retrospective manner. Previously, Netflix has had its own share of such documentaries and now adding another feather to the list, Netflix has got the documentary of NBA Legend Bill Russell on board.

Here is everything we know about the documentary so far: 

Synopsis of the Documentary 

The ultimate documentary about NBA icon Russell is a real Civil Rights icon and the greatest champion in the history of American sports. Russell went on to win championships with each of his basketball teams during his thirteen-year career as a Boston Celtic, including two California State High School Championships, two back-to-back NCAA titles, a Gold Medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and 11 championship titles (his last two as the first Black Head Coach in NBA history, while still playing for the Celtics). Bill’s tale is inextricably linked to the NBA’s 75-year history, as well as the journey of America’s previous eight decades.

Who are in the production panel of the documentary?

The documentary is directed by Sam Pollard, who has been dubbed a “master filmmaker” by Spike Lee. Citizen Ashe, which premiered on HBO Max in early December 2021, was his most recent production. MLK/FBI, Mr. Soul!, Black Art: In the Absence of Light, and Maynard are among Pollard’s other credits.

Bill Russell Documentary 1
Credits: Steven Senne

 Larry Gordon (Field of Dreams, Die Hard), Ross Greenburg (Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, Miracle), and Mike Richardson (Hellboy, The Umbrella Academy) have stepped in as the producers of the documentary. 

For the unversed, William Felton Russell, born on February 12, 1934, who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. He was the nucleus of the Celtics dynasty, which won eleven NBA titles during his 13-year career. He was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 12-time All-Star. The National Hockey League’s Russell and Henri Richard are tied for the most titles won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell captained the gold-medal-winning United States national basketball team in the 1956 Summer Olympics after leading the San Francisco Dons to two consecutive NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956.

Russell is one of the most accomplished and distinguished athletes in the history of North American sports. His medals and accomplishments include 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons as a player with the Boston Celtics (including two NBA championships as player/head coach), and he is recognized for elevating defensive play in the NBA to new heights. Russell became the first of only four players in NBA history to win an NCAA championship and an NBA championship back-to-back by winning the 1956 NCAA Championship with USF and the 1957 NBA crown with the Celtics. Russell earned an Olympic gold medal in 1956 during the interval. His time as the Celtics’ coach was also historic, since he was the team’s first black head coach in major U.S. professional sports when he succeeded Red Auerbach.

Bill Russell Documentary 2

Russell was recognized by the city of Boston, which erected a monument of him on City Hall Plaza in 2013 depicting him in-game, flanked by 11 plinths reflecting the 11 championships he helped the Celtics win. To highlight Russell’s many accomplishments, each plinth has a key term and a relevant statement. The project was supported by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation’s Bill Russell Legacy Foundation. Ann Hirsch of Somerville, Massachusetts, created the artwork in partnership with Boston-based Pressley Associates Landscape Architects. Russell was present for the unveiling of the monument on November 1, 2013.