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Interviewing Bill Russell – Sam Pollard on Why He’s Great

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When we talk about the history of the NBA, there are simply before Bill Russell and after Bill Russell. He arrived in the mid-1950s, nearly a decade after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. With all due respect to George Mikan and Bob Cousy, Russell was the league’s first great modern superstar. His career coincided with the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s, and Russell spoke out against racism and oppression at great risk to his safety and future earnings. Here’s what helped – he was the biggest winner in American professional team sports. When his 13-year career was complete, Russell had won 11 championships, including two as a player and coach. By the way, he was the first black coach in the NBA.

In other words, in the realm of shorthand, filtering votes in mathematical debates: Email them all. Wilt, Kareem, Jordan, LeBron? As Jalen Rose says in Sam Pollard’s new two-part documentary, Netflix, Bill Russell: LegendRussell has more rings than fingers. But what gives Pollard’s thoughtful examination emotional heft is that, despite his success on court, Russell was a complex man and investigator. Interesting and interested. And though his seriousness might be intimidating—he did not suffer for fools—Russell was not devoid of a sense of humor, and, as almost anyone will attest, had an unforgettable laugh.

Pollard, one of our most prolific directors, has chronicled the Black American experience for five decades. He edited a documentary about hip-hop music, style wars. (If you somehow managed not to see this, now is just as good a time as any to get it right.) He’s cut six Spike Lee features, including the fantastic documentary, 4 little girls. Pollard has made great documentaries about Martin Luther King Jrand Sammy Davis Jr. and Arthur Ashe and August Wilson – to name a few – and now weave Russell’s remarkable career and its impact on American sporting culture, into an intelligent and nuanced narrative. Bill Russell: Legend It reminds us that in the world of team sports, perhaps the oldest player on a team is also the most individual.


Esquire: The great director Federico Fellini once said, “I always make the same movie.” Does this resonate with all of you?

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Sam Pollard: It kind of is. If you look at my body from my work, who style wars On, a lot of what I do speaks specifically to the African American community, number one. Number two, in the last 10 years I’ve been saying a lot of the things I do from — from August Wilson to Sammy Davis to Marvin Gay– Talks about the unique experiences that I’ve had growing up and understanding them. Sammy Davis really speaks to me because he was very familiar with it as a teenager; August Wilson spoke to me because in my thirties I would have seen his plays like Piano lesson And Joe Turner Come and Go. Even when you look at Black art: in the absence of lightThese are the artists I knew before I took part in this film. So a lot of this stuff speaks to me, to my own generation and my own experiences.

Bill Russell wasn’t a genius or sentimentalist, but he was an interesting conversationalist.

The interesting thing about Russell is from one perspective, he looks like such an imposing, 6′ 9 center for the Boston Celtics. Winner, winner, winner, right? But there is a flip side to Bill Russell where he is very thoughtful. He is very meticulous about everything in life, not only as a basketball player but as a black man in America. And he had opinions about everything. It was cut from the same cloth as Jim Brown. And even Ali. Really to talk about things. and respond to things. And that’s what’s amazing about Russell is that he was really able to give his emotional and intellectual view of things. What he felt about Wilt Chamberlain in Game 7 in 1969 shows he had that side as well where he says, “Well, that guy didn’t really play his best. I would never have gotten out of the game.” He had a very big ego.

What’s amazing about Russell is that, in one sense, he was the ultimate hero of the game: 11 episodes. But he speaks candidly about how all this winning has not brought him peace. Did those 11 episodes really make him the happiest man in the world?

they did not. And I saw what he did. He won Episode 11 in ’69 and gave up everything. away from Boston. away from the Celtics. He turns away from his family. He gives up everything because he is searching. And he realized that life is more than just a basketball bubble. And he needed to get out there and savor that, discover it and figure out where else he could go in his life. Which he did.

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As always he will be his man. He wasn’t going to fall in line.

I love the parts where the art is displayed.

He saw art, that’s right. He felt that the idea of ​​artistic creativity could be transferred to the basketball court. Which made it so special. The thing about the relationship he and KC Jones developed at USF was they were able to figure out how to play the game both offensively and defensively. They have studied it. I mean, Russell was a genius — an absolute genius.

But what’s interesting is that Russell’s art on the field wasn’t like Pistol Pete Maravich’s. He was not a soloist. Russell’s creativity was based on the team first concept.

always. This is what made him so different from Chamberlain. I remember as a teenager I had a conversation with people, “Who’s the best center?” Even when I was 14, 15, I always thought it was Bill Russell because he played the game that was always about the team. You see in the movie, it wasn’t like he was going to score more points than Wilt catches or have more rebounds than him. But he was able to contain Wilt enough for his team to win. As Reed Auerbach said, it’s always about winning.

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When his 13-year career was complete, Russell had won 11 championships – including 2 as player-coach. Oh, by the way, he was the first black coach in the NBA.

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Greatness is also about circumstances, time and place, what is required of you, and how to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Russell achieved levels of greatness unparalleled at the time despite the holes in his game. Was Russell the first modern star?

he. He took his limitations, and was able to use them to his best advantage. Miles Davis couldn’t run changes as fast as Dizzy Gillespie. He didn’t have the same kind of undertone as Dizzy Gillespie. But he took his limits, creating his own unique sound, which made Miles Davis in the 1950s even more successful from an artistic and audience perspective than Dizzy was. He was able to create his own voice. This is exactly what Bill Russell did. Bill Russell couldn’t shoot, but he knew how to take his defensive skills and use them to help this team. They had Bob Cousy, one of the greatest players of the ’50s, but the Celtics didn’t win championships until they got the big guy.

He has always been unafraid to speak out during his career.

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As always he will be his man. He wasn’t going to fall in line. When you listen to Earl Monroe talking about Bill? It was amazing when Russell spoke. As Kenny Smith says, you could kill your career then if you spoke up. Many players follow the “shut up and play” motto. Nor did Bill Russell. He was always standing. He was always talking. That’s why when the Cleveland Summit was convened in 1967, it wasn’t surprising to see Bill Russell sitting next to Ali and Jim Brown and talking about why Ali decided not to join the military.

Russell has a reputation for not signing autographs, so it’s cute in your movie when Chris Paul tells the story of the time Russell refused to give him an autograph. It’s like, Stand in line Chris, nobody gets one. Russell not signing autographs has always made sense to me.

Why?

For me, if Bill Russell looked me in the eye and shook my hand, that would be more helpful.

Who signed it?

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Yes.

Well, I asked Steph Curry the same question – which I don’t think we have in the final cut. He didn’t quite understand why Bill Russell didn’t sign autographs because he felt – that’s what Steve said – that he did [it is] Part of his responsibility as a player. You have fans who love you. You want to make them say, “Okay, I know why they like me. I’m going to sign this autograph.” So he didn’t understand why Bill Russell didn’t sign autographs.

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Bill Russell: Legend | Official Trailer | Netflix

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But it wasn’t about scorning people. He just wanted to have an experience on his own terms.

Because that’s what it was. But you know, I always find it complicated. I was in Los Angeles last week to show the movie MLK / FBIAnd right before the guy came and pulled out a magazine with my picture on it and said, “Would you sign this for me?” Now, the reaction in my head was, This is absurd, why would I sign an autograph? But I fell for it. I understand Bill’s reasoning but the point is: what’s the big deal?

However, he doesn’t seem to have any regrets, which is amazing to me.

I find that life is complicated. Life is a series of ups and downs. You have regrets. This doesn’t mean you hit yourself in the back, but you know, you did regret it. I don’t always talk about it. I can’t imagine he didn’t feel remorse. In his interview with Jayne Kennedy, she asked about his relationship with Wilt and asked if they would work on mending their relationship. And he didn’t seem to care. But he really did.

Even though you grew up following Russell’s career, after making that movie, was there something you knew about him that you didn’t about Russell?

I’ve learned that this guy is way more despicable than I ever thought he was, quite frankly. It’s always interesting when you’re looking at these people in these documentaries. You discover aspects of their lives where you say, I don’t know if I want to sit that person down for a meal. The little moment that stood out for me in that relationship was that Wilt would invite Bill over to his house for dinner when they were playing in Philadelphia. And Wilt’s mother would say to Bill, “Don’t hit my son so hard.” These are beautiful moments.

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Rachael Leigh Cook and Missy Bale look back on ‘Josie and the Cats’ as stars reunite after 22 years Deadline

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Rachael Leigh Cook and Missi Pyle share the screen at Netflix’s tourist guide But 22 years ago, they both starred Josie and the pussies.

Cook was the bandleader for Josie McCoy while Pyle played Alexandra Cabot. The two stars recently recalled their time working together on the 2001 comedy.

Cook said: “I remember Messi improvising things that made us all cry laughing outright.” hill about her costar. “A particularly great moment of it is when my character has a major revelation of conspiracy going on in full swing, and Missy completely steals the scene by paying attention to whatever I say and silently sneaking up behind me, plucking my hair off a boss and rummaging through it. I remember watching the playback on screen in awe divorced “.

Bale noted that her character “wanted to be any of the pussies”.

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Clockwise from left rear: Missy Bale, Paolo Costanzo, Rosario Dawson, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Alan Cumming

Shane Harvey/Universal/Everett Collection. Courtesy

With Cook and Pyle reunited for Tourist guide for loveIn Exclaim!, Pyle noted that working together again “was very exciting”.

“I’ve seen her here and there over the years, and I’ve always loved her,” Pyle said. “She’s hilarious. She has a very dry sense of humor and is obviously lovely and passionate, and I love what she’s done: She’s created this whole world for herself. I’m just so down to earth and blown away by her. She’s doing something a lot of other actors, including me, haven’t done. She caught on.” Flames in their own way.

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Rachael Leigh Cook and Missy Pyle in A Tourist Guide to Love

Rachael Leigh Cook and Missy Pyle in A Tourist Guide to Love

Sasidis Sasisakulporn / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection



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Celebrities attend Sofia Richie’s wedding: PHOTOS – Hollywood Life

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Image credit: MEGA

Sofia Richie And Elliott Greenie They surrounded their family and friends, many celebrities among them, during their April 22nd wedding! Marry the crossbar and the front piece Cameron Diazher husband Benji MaddenAnd Paris Hiltonher husband Carter Reum And many more, as shown in the pictures here. A group of Hollywood heavyweights enjoyed a lavish celebration at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France.

Sofia Richie and her sister Nicole Richie the day before their wedding. (mega)

In addition to celebrity friends, Sofia’s famous family members were in attendance. her dad, Lionel Richiesister Nicole Richieand brother-in-law Joel MaddenThey were dressed to impress as they happily watched her become a wife. A source previously told us that Nicole was one of the people who actually helped Sofia plan her dream wedding.

“Nicole Richie has been loving every second of helping her sister Sophia plan her dream wedding to Elliott Gring,” the source said. Hollywood Live. “The two used to talk about their wedding when they were little girls, and it brought them closer than they ever had. Sofia looks up to Nicole when it comes to fashion, and she knows her sister wants her to look like the most beautiful bride of her day.”

Other famous Sofia Richie guests include Paris Hilton and Cameron Diaz. (mega)

Sophia’s brother Miles Richie He also appears to have helped with the plans. “Nicole and Miles give Sophia a lot of input when it comes to their ideas for her wedding day,” a second source shared with us. Of course, Sofia makes the final decision on every last detail, but she couldn’t imagine going through the process without her family’s help along the way. Lionel was also incredibly sweet and keeps saying he can’t wait to watch his baby girl get married. This really can’t be a union. Perfect for Sophia and Elliot. The love and support they receive from friends and family has been truly overwhelming.”

Sofia Richie and Elliot Grange
Sofia Richie and Elliot Gring at an earlier event. (clash)

Sophia and Elliott got engaged in April 2022 after dating for over a year. The proposal took place while the couple was surrounded by candles and flower petals, and Elliott got down on one knee when he asked his future bride for her hand in marriage.

Click to sign up for HollywoodLife’s free daily newsletter For top celebrity news.

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Meghan Markle cracks rumor about why she missed the coronation

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Meghan Markle, King Charles. Shutterstock (2)

Not so fast. Meghan Markle She denies rumors of exchanging letters with her King Charles III Why would you miss his coronation.

Ashley HansenThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s global press secretary has decried allegations that Meghan, 41, will not attend King Charles’ coronation due to written messages.

Sussex’s representative said in a statement to Harper’s Bazaar On Saturday, April 22nd. “Any suggestion otherwise is wrong and downright laughable.”

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Denial came a day later The telegraph Reported that the Suits star exchanged messages with the then Prince of Wales about and Prince HarryMarch 2021 interview on CBS. In a surprising conversation, the couple discussed a royal raising concerns while Meghan was pregnant about how black Archie’s son would be, but they declined to publicly name the person.

And after the interview was broadcast, according to The telegraphThe California citizen exchanged correspondence with her father-in-law about the incident referred to.

He thinks the duchess has thanked the king for his words. telegraph reports. “The Duchess’ letter is also said to indicate that she never intended to specifically accuse the individual involved of being racist, but rather was raising concerns about unconscious bias.”

The letter allegedly named the person who made the comment about skin colour, but the king and duchess now allegedly agreed in the letters that the comment was an “innocent remark”.

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Meghan Markle reportedly wrote a letter to King Charles about unconscious bias 148
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the telegraph It was claimed that correspondence as well as non-participation in the coronation ceremony accounted for seat The author’s decision not to attend the May 6th event.

Harry, 38, will attend King Charles’ coronation solo on May 6. Meanwhile, Meghan — who shares daughter Lilibet, 22 months, with her husband — will be back home to celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday in Montecito. said a source us weekly His birthday was the reason she decided to skip the UK trip.

An insider EXCLUSIVELY said: “As much as Meghan appreciates the invitation to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday to the world.” we earlier this month. “As Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mother first.”

Another insider has revealed that while Charles’ coronation takes place at Westminster Abbey, Archie will hold an intimate ceremony with loved ones.

Another source EXCLUSIVELY said: “Meghan is planning something really simple to celebrate Archie’s birthday.” we earlier this month. “Since Harry won’t be able to attend, she just wants to do something intimate with family and a few very close friends.”

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