William Felton Russell, the first African American coach in American professional sports and indisputably one of basketball's greatest all-time players, an "impassioned advocate of human rights" and "a consistent advocate of equality," as the White House put it when awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, turns 80 today.
As anyone who once gave $15 to the Obama campaign knows, POTUS had a birthday this weekend. We signed the card, along with the family dog… and Michelle left town.
Naturally, the most powerful man in the galaxy had but one option: invite over a Murderer's Row of basketball greats past and present to play some ball and have an informal cook-out. Footage from this unusual event is fast becoming the Holy Grail for, well, me; if nothing else, we deserve a few choice vignettes. There's infinite grist for jokes-"did you hear the one about Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, and the last bag of chips?"-and, more seriously, a thousand [...]