Russell dominated the NBA in the 1950s and 60s, so he hasn't accumulated generational wealth over the course of his career, unlike star players today. He played all 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics and won 11 rings, making him the most decorated player in league history.
How much was Bill Russell worth?
Bill Russell was reportedly worth $10 million at the time of his death. It's only a fraction of what professional players make today, as Russell played in an era when salaries weren't too high. His rookie deal in 1956 was $24,000. In comparison, 2022 1st overall pick Paolo Banchero signed a four-year $50.1 million deal with the Orlando Magic, more than five times Russell's net worth.
However, as per the 1950s standards, Russell was one of the highest-paid players in the NBA. He reportedly made $100,001 annually late in his career, which is roughly worth $600,000 today when adjusted for inflation. He reportedly received an extra $25,000 as a player-coach. He was a player-coach for his last two rings with the Boston Celtics (1968, 1969).
Russell reportedly did not have any local endorsement deals, as per The Washington Post. However, he starred in an AT&T Wireless TV Spot with Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and also in a Foot Locker advertisement with Russell Westbrook. Russell also narrated an Under Armour advertisement starring Stephen Curry.
Additionally, Russell owned several properties in the USA. In 2021, he sold his Washington home after over 50 years, listing the selling price at $2.6 million. He told the Puget Sound Business Journal about his decision to sell the house:
"I was offered the head coaching job with the Sonics in 1974. When I took the job, I was a single parent and chose Mercer Island because it had the best schools in the Pacific Northwest. The house was not built for me. I was actually looking at the house next door, but it was not private enough."
Russell's 11 championship rings have their own price tag, and if his estate or widow end up auctioning any of them, they stand to make a fortune.
We here at Sportskeeda send our condolences to the family and friends of Bill Russell. May they be comforted during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.
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