The NBA and Turner today announced Bill Russell – a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics – will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first-ever NBA Awards on TNT, airing Monday, June 26, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Among his numerous athletic achievements, Russell was the first player to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NBA Championship and a college title. While playing at the University of San Francisco, he led his team to back-to-back championships (1955 and 1956). A civil rights pioneer, Russell became the first African American to coach a major professional sports team (1966) and win a championship when he guided the Celtics to back-to-back titles (1968 and 1969).
One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Russell won five NBA MVP Awards, earned 12 NBA All-Star selections and left an indelible mark as a superb shotblocker who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts. The annual NBA Finals MVP Award is named in honor of Russell, an NBA Champion in all but two of his seasons as a player with Boston.
The NBA Awards on TNT – hosted by Drake – will be held at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City, as the NBA honors all of the league’s top performers on one night for the first time.
The 2017 NBA Awards on TNT will feature integrations with the Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, along with the league’s biggest stars, a musical performance by Nicki Minaj, and celebrity presenters.
The NBA Awards on TNT, created by Turner Sports and the NBA, is produced by dick clark productions.