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Bill Russell makes first public appearance since his fall

Celtics legend Bill Russell made his first public appearance since a July 17 fall during a speaking engagement. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Celtics legend Bill Russell made his first public appearance since a July 17 fall during a speaking engagement.

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Celtics legend Bill Russell made his first public appearance since a July 17 fall during a speaking engagement in Lake Tahoe, Calif. On Thursday evening, Russell appeared to be in good spirits, walking around and greeting admirers following the Naismith Hall of Fame Family Reunion Dinner.

A spokesman told the Globe the 11-time NBA champion made the appearance to honor former commissioner David Stern, who will be inducted Friday. Russell was speaking clearly, talking to other Hall of Famers, and offered his customary laugh several times.

Russell was speaking to Konica Minolta employees last month when he appeared to faint while telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain. After receiving first aid, the 80-year-old Russell flew back to his Seattle home that evening.

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.
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