Bill Russell ‘OK’ after fainting spell

Bill Russell waves to the crowd during the NBA All Star game in February.
Gerald Herbert/AP
Bill Russell waves to the crowd during the NBA All-Star Game in February.

Boston Celtics officials said Bill Russell, the team’s Hall of Fame center, collapsed after feeling faint while speaking at a corporate event in Lake Tahoe, Nev., on Thursday.

Russell, 80, left the event on a stretcher and was taken to an area hospital. Celtics officials said Russell was doing OK, and it was possible he could leave Lake Tahoe for his home in the Seattle area Thursday night.

According to the Associated Press, Russell was addressing a roomful of Konica Minolta employees and telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain.


Witness Michael Rooney told the AP that Russell started to sway at the podium and then fell backward. Rooney said Russell appeared to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid.

Russell was recently at the NBA Finals, awarding the trophy in his name to the Finals MVP.