Bill Russell Receives COVID-19 Vaccine in Public Service Announcement

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Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell joined a list of several notable NBA figures to take the COVID-19 vaccine in the league's latest PSA. 

Russell, who won 11 championships in 13 years with the Celtics, joins 19-time NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in getting the vaccine. 

In his message, the 12-time NBA All-Star compared it to his defensive prowess from his playing days.

"I just arrived to get my COVID shot, and this is one shot I won’t block," Russell said. "No Celtics were harmed during my shot. Let’s do this together.

"My wife put in the time for weeks and finally get us in. No side effects to report."

The NBA has supported public messaging for people to take the vaccine.

Jabbar, 73, was the first to take the vaccine publicly in a PSA that debuted on Jan. 18. 

“Because of the COVID-19 virus, we’ve had to find new ways to be together, we’ve had to find new ways to communicate, we had to find new ways to play and we have to find new ways to keep each other safe," Abdul-Jabbar said. "For myself and my family, I am going to take the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more about the vaccines, go to CDC.gov. Let’s do this together.”

Popovich, a five-time NBA champion coach received the vaccine on his 72nd birthday. He also released the news in the form of a PSA video. 

No current NBA players have taken the vaccine yet. However, several players are expected to participate with local governments to increase awareness and educate others on taking the vaccine.