A little more than a month ago, a statue commemorating Bobby Orr was unveiled.
The statue was received by Boston fans with great joy — it isn’t often that one of our own heroes, or our father’s heroes, or our grandfather’s heroes, is remembered with a life-size, 800-lb., bronze landmark. And Orr was deserving of the honor; I don’t pretend to know any more about hockey than I do about astrophysics, but to hear my father speak of Bobby Orr is to hear how I’d speak of Lebron in 40 years… if Lebron had been a Boston Celtic his whole career.
As touching and special as it was to have Orr honored with a statue, it begs the questions: Why can’t Bill Russell get a statue too? And if he can’t get a statue, can Russell at least get a plaque, street, or anything else named after him? As of now, Boston has failed its greatest champion by falling short of honoring his storied career.
Is he not great enough? 11 titles speak to Russell’s greatness, as do five MVP trophies. Hell, the NBA Finals MVP award is named after Russell. He’s the greatest winner in team sports history. The best defender, maybe, to ever play in the NBA. He revolutionized the game of basketball, leading the change from slow, plodding centers to graceful, tall gazelles. Sounds like a resume deserving of a statue to me.
If you ask me, that Boston made a Bobby Orr statue before a Bill Russell statue speaks to one of three things: Either 1) Boston is even more of a hockey and baseball city than I thought, with the Celtics being a distant third in fan loyalty, 2) race is still more of an issue than it seems, or 3) Russell has ruffled too many feathers with his outspoken criticisms of the city of Boston.
Join the Facebook Petition
Whatever it is that’s kept Russell from being properly honored, it’s time to rectify the wrongs. Help the cause by following this Facebook page, a petition of sorts to help Russell be honored the way he should.