Bill Russell: Legend review: An inspiring account of a legend’s life

Bill Russell: Legend follows the life, career, and contributions on and off the court of one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Bill Russell. The two-part documentary is now streaming on Netflix. 


Bill Russell auctioned off his collection of memorabilia seven months before he passed away. Various stars, including Stephen Curry, talk about the things that they would like to acquire from his personal collection before the film dives into his career.

In 1956, Russell signed with the Boston Celtics and went on to win 11 championship titles with the team in thirteen years. He also became the first Black head coach in NBA history and won the last two championship titles as a player-coach. 

Before he signed with the Celtics, Russell was a national champion in college and an Olympic gold medal winner. The two-part film documents Russell’s legendary career and the challenges he faced as a player.

Russell is also known for his work as an activist, and the film depicts his important contributions to the struggle against racism despite being a victim of it in his everyday life.

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The documentary paints a picture of his life with the help of interviews with his friends, teammates, family, other players, and more. It also includes Russell’s last interview before he passed away in 2022.


Even while depicting the life of a celebrated man, the documentary does not gloss over the facts to make him look better. The facts are presented as they are to create an authentic image of Russell.

The documentary depicts Russell as a legend but at the same time, as a living, breathing human being, who was not unaffected by the discrimination that he faced in his life. He fought to eradicate it, but he was also full of anger and frustration.

The excerpts from Russell’s books are perfectly placed within the narrative; they elevate it. Additionally, through them, the viewers catch a glimpse of Russell’s thoughts and ideas, which show that the man was a thinker in his own right.

The film pays close attention to Russell’s personality and the kind person he aimed to be. It brings out several aspects of his personality, the relationship he shared with other players, and his life that add a new layer to this well-known public figure.


It can be said that the documentary is a celebration of Bill Russell and his legacy, but it is just that and nothing more; there is nothing innovative about it.

There are segments in the first part that do not seem well connected; they almost seem out of place when the viewers look at the whole picture.


The two-part film is inspiring, enjoyable, and full of Russell’s profound thoughts. Apart from his achievements, the documentary depicts who was this unapologetic man and what made him so special. The viewers should give this a chance to know Bill Russell as he was.

Bill Russell: Legend
Bill Russell: Legend review: An inspiring account of a legend’s life 1

Director: Sam Pollard

Date Created: 2023-02-08 18:33

Editor's Rating:

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