Daily Archives: May 4, 2011

Finally, Bill Russell To Get A Statue

Published May 4, 2011

Celtic great Bill Russell reacts at a news conference as he learns the most valuable player award for the NBA championships was renamed the Bill Russel NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. (AP)

Celtic great Bill Russell reacts at a news conference as he learns the most valuable player award for the NBA championships was renamed the Bill Russel NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. (AP)

The Boston Celtics announced today that the team’s charitable arm will be erecting a statue of Celtics great Bill Russell.

Long overdue, the statue will memorialize the Hall of Famer’s accomplishments both on and off the court, the team said in a release. It’s not known yet where the statue will be located.

One of the best NBA players of all time, Russell brought an incredible 11 championships to Boston and won four MVP awards. He ranks second in the NBA in total career rebounds with over 21,600.

Off the court, Russell is remembered as an outspoken civil rights advocate and, to many, a complex figure who never shied from speaking his mind. President Obama honored Russell with the nation’s highest civilian honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, in February.

“(Russell) almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball,” the White House said in a statement at the medal ceremony. “The first African American to coach in the NBA — indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States — Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.”

Back in February, local graphic designer Nate Morrow mocked up in Photoshop what a possible Bill Russell statue might look like.

Now that it’s becoming a reality, where should the statue go?

Boston Fire Tweets: Commercial Wharf Offices In Flames

Published May 4, 2011

(Click an image to open photo gallery)

A three-alarm fire struck some law offices this morning at 95 Commercial Wharf in Boston’s North End.

The fire was the result of “careless cigarette disposal” from the building’s second floor, according to the Boston Fire Department’s twitter feed. Damage is being estimated at $3 million.

Seventy-five firefighters responded to the scene. At least five were sent to the hospital — according to a 12:20 p.m. tweet — none had life-threatening injuries.

Steve Lyons, a Boston attorney whose office was destroyed in the fire, told The Boston Globe that he saw the flames:

“I live nearby and this morning I woke up and looked out from my balcony and saw my office in flames,” Lyons said in a calm but sad voice. “So I came down here, unfortunately to find my office totally engulfed and all the offices around it in flames.’’

The Boston Police Department tweeted that Commercial Street will be closed for most of the day because of the fire.

Wednesday Morning: The Calm Before The Storm

Published May 4, 2011

A deluge of important news is about to come down the pipe.

State lawmakers will open hearings on casino gambling today, reigniting a contentious debate that dominated the end of the last legislative session. Still, it’s a different economic world since casinos were last debated on the state House floor.

The Governor’s Council is expected to vote today in Judge Barbara Lenk’s SJC confirmation hearings. Currently an appeals court judge, Lenk would be the first openly gay justice on the Supreme Judicial Court.

Jury selection has been completed for the corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi. The trial starts tomorrow and is expected to last about six weeks.

It doesn’t look like DNA that originated in Boston was used to help identify the remains of Osama bin Laden, contrary to a Monday ABC News report. ABC reported that bin Laden’s sister died in Boston and some of her brain tissue was used in identification. Instead, the New York Times reports that U.S. authorities probably used DNA from one of bin Laden’s parents or children. CommonHealth was all over this controversy from the start.

The Celtics sit in a two game hole after another playoff loss to the Miami Heat last night. It’s not quite panic time, but it doesn’t look good for the men in green.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on a bill filed by Rep. Barney Frank limiting the powers of regional Federal Reserve banks, possible nurses strikes in Boston and Worcester and a huge fire in a North End building.