Rus­sell ac­cepts his Hall of Fame ring

Orlando Sentinel - - SCOREBOARD -

Bill Rus­sell says he’s finally ready to be a Hall of Famer.

The 11-time NBA cham­pion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medal­ist and two-time NCAA champ said on Twit­ter on Fri­day that he was pre­sented with his Hall of Fame ring in a pri­vate cer­e­mony that comes three decades after he was first se­lected for the shrine at Spring­field, Mass.

Rus­sell didn’t at­tend his in­duc­tion cer­e­mony in 1975. He says he didn’t de­serve to be the first black player in­ducted. He tweeted that “I felt oth­ers be­fore me should have that honor.”

His tweet men­tions Chuck Cooper, who in 1950 was the first AfricanAme­r­i­can player drafted by the NBA and who was in­ducted this year.

Layups: James Har­den had 44 points, eight re­bounds and five as­sists as the Rock­ets im­proved to 5-1 at home with a 111-102 win over the Pac­ers . ... Ma­lik Monk hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the host Hornets a 109-106 vic­tory over the Pis­tons, help­ing snap a four-game los­ing streak. “Every game is get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter, so hope­fully I just keep go­ing up,” said Monk, who fin­ished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shoot­ing . ... Evan Fournier scored 26 points, in­clud­ing a cou­ple of late 3-point­ers, and the host Magic beat the Spurs 111109. De­Mar DeRozan scored 21 for the Spurs, who lost their their fourth straight.

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