NBA legend Bill Russell is getting the definitive documentary treatment from Netflix.
The Boston Celtics great is the subject of a yet-to-be-titled documentary directed by Oscar nominee Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI,” “Citizen Ashe”), with a team of producers including Larry Gordon (“Field of Dreams,” “Die Hard”), Ross Greenburg (“Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” “Miracle”) and Mike Richardson (“Hellboy,” “The Umbrella Academy”).
Produced by High Five Productions, LLC. (Gordon, Greenburg and Richardson’s collective banner), the film will feature personal interviews with Russell and make use of the sprawling personal archives from the life and career of the five-time NBA MVP, 12-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist.
The official synopsis explains that the documentary serves as the “definitive bio-doc” on “the greatest champion in the history of American sports,” tracing Russell’s history on the court and off, paying special reverence to his work as a Civil Rights pioneer. When President Barack Obama awarded Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, he described the Hall of Fame player as “someone who stood up for the rights and dignity of all men.”
“From the humblest of beginnings, Russell went on to lead each and every one of his basketball teams to championships — two California State High School Championships, two back-to-back NCAA titles, a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and 11 championship titles in his 13-year career as a Boston Celtic (his last two as the first Black head coach in NBA history, while still playing for the Celtics),” the description reads. “Bill’s story is innately and uniquely intertwined with the 75-year history of the NBA, and the story of America’s last eight decades.”