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NBA's Bill Russell collapses during speech

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) - Celtics officials say NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell is doing OK after collapsing during a speaking engagement near Lake Tahoe.

Team spokesman Brian Olive says the 80-year-old Russell felt faint after the Thursday morning fall at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village, Nevada, but was planning on returning home to Seattle this evening.

Witness Michael Rooney tells 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, a five-time NBA MVP, is considered one of the best players in basketball history.

He won 11 championships in 13 years as a center with the Celtics. As a player-coach for the last two, he was the first black head coach in a major U.S. pro sport.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and was honored last year with a statue outside Boston's City Hall.

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Mike July 18 2014 at 8:30 AM

Heal up quuckly. Classy guy.

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Jeb July 18 2014 at 1:02 AM

Who cares.

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5 replies
larrykcory July 18 2014 at 11:05 AM

He is NOT considered one of the BEST NBA players EVER. HE IS ONE OF THE BEST EVER!!!!!

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1 reply
acash626 larrykcory July 18 2014 at 11:28 AM

You're absolutely right. He revolutionized the game from a defensive standpoint with his shot blocking and rebounding. I do believe if shot blocking were a stat when he played, Bill Russell & Wilt Chamberlain would be # 1 & # 2 in that category.

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nedfarn25 July 18 2014 at 2:32 PM

Russell also won the college chamionship along w K.C.jones at san francisco. He is the best!! period!!

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scorpian777 July 18 2014 at 4:14 PM

I never heard of him!@! However I hope he doing well!!!!!!

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