44 years after he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Bill Russell accepted his HoF ring. Classy as always, without making a fuss about it, Russell finished a statement he started making 44 years ago.
As great of a basketball player he was, Bill Russell was and still is an even better proponent of justice and civil rights. You can see it by his cover photo on twitter, where Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and himself, among others, are speaking up for racial equality. That is why Russell mentioned Chuck Cooper in his tweet.
When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Russell refused to accept his ring until Chuck Cooper was in the Hall of Fame. Why him? Chuck Cooper was the first African-American player drafted by the NBA in 1950. He paved the way for all other African American players that came after him, so Russell felt it was only right he got into the Hall of Fame before he does.
Michael Jordan probably is the greatest player of all time, but Bill Russell is without a doubt the most important basketball player ever.