Why Bill Russell Was More Than Just a Legendary Athlete, Plus Debo Samuel Gets Paid

Happy Monday morning, everyone, and welcome to August. Hope you will be fine. We’ve got a few big stories to get to right away, so today’s newsletter has a slightly different format than usual.

Let’s get to it.

Remembering Basketball Hall of Famer and Sports Icon Bill Russell 🏀

Smell it

Bill Russell11-time NBA champion and civil rights activist, His family announced on Sunday that the 88-year-old “passed away peacefully with his wife Janine by his side”.. Russell spent his entire 13-year career with him. The CelticsWith his nine titles as a player under the legendary Reid Orbach and the last two as a player-coach.

Considered one of the greatest champions in team sports history, Russell racked up. A number of individual achievements:

  • Twelve All-Star appearances
  • Five MVPs (only Kareem Abdul Jabbar is more with six)
  • NBA 25th, 35th, 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams
  • Inaugural NBA Lifetime Achievement Award (in 2019)
  • Nominated for NBA Finals MVP since 2009
  • One of five people inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (in 1975) and a coach (in 2021).

You can see Russell’s accomplishments by the numbers. Here.

The path to building Russell’s legacy was truly remarkable — and it required incredible perseverance. Born in Louisiana in 1934, Russell was not a well-known recruit and eventually made his way to San Francisco. He then led the Dons to back-to-back national titles in 1955 and 1956 and also won an Olympic gold medal in 1956.

Selected No. 2 overall that year, Russell became the backbone of the Celtics’ dynasty while also being one of the most socially conscious players of his time. He appeared in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and supported Muhammad Ali after he refused to join the army.

In 1966 Russell became First black head coach in major American professional sportsand our NBA expert Sam Quinn writes. He “did the impossible” by winning two titles as a player-coach..

  • Quinn: “Until the end, he was a single-digit scorer playing in his last NBA game. To this day, he is the only player-coach to win an NBA championship. … Until that time, Bill Russell was the leader. Basketball player Bill Much more important than Russell. Whether he’s pitching the concept of bulletin board content as a motivational tactic or leading a racially divided locker room through the assassination of a civil rights leader, Russell in any Can excel. Everyone around him.”

Many of the game’s all-time greats as well as current-day stars have. Tribute to Russell. on social media.

A decision on Deshaun Watson’s possible suspension is expected today.

Smell it

The NFL’s decision on possible discipline The Browns The quarterback Deshaun Watson Expected to arrive todayAs reported by CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. The NFL is reportedly pushing for an indefinite suspension for at least the entire 2022 season. Sue RobinsonA former federal judge will rule.

  • Watson faced 24 civil lawsuits that accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions while he was with Texas.. He started Disposed of 20 out of 24 cases.. He was not indicted on criminal charges by two Texas grand juries earlier this offseason. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
  • While This is not necessarily the final decision., the NFL Players Association said it would stand by Robinson’s decision and not appeal. Watson’s suspension will likely stem from this. Robinson determined Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy..

The Browns signed Jacoby Brissett Back in March — the day after they traded for Watson, in fact — and Brissett has taken plenty of first-team reps so far in training camp. Brissett, 29, started five games Dolphin Started last season and for this one too. The Colts And Patriot. Cleveland has it too. Josh Rosen And Joshua Dobbs on its roster.

We’ll soon know how many games that combo of QBs might need to play in 2022.

Deebo Samuel inked a monster extension with the 49ers 🏈.

Smell it

There will be no further holding by Debo Samuel. gave 49ers‘ All this is agreed upon by the Star Wide Receiver. 3-year extension worth up to $73.5 million The summer of big money wide receivers continues.

  • Samuel’s deal involves a huge sum of money. $58.1 million guaranteed. And it comes after requesting a trade earlier this offseason. He has been in the training camp but is not participating.
  • Last year, Samuel became the first player in NFL history to record 1,300 receiving yards and 300 rushing yards in a season.
  • Samuel joins a star-studded list of wide receivers who earned big money this offseason: Deonte Adams, Cooper Cope, Tyreke Hill, Stephen Diggs, Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Christian Kirk And fellow 2019 draftees DK Metcalfe, AJ Brown And Terry McLaren.

Samuel is an electric talent who is a thrill to watch — just The Cooper Cup Had more yards after the catch last year. He’s a perfect fit for the modern NFL, where getting the ball to playmakers in space is paramount. Of Samuel’s 136 touches last season, about 60 came when he lined up in the backfield, about 50 when he was out wide and more than 30 when he was in the slot.

This is clearly a huge, well-deserved win for Samuels and the 49ers, who will now be rooting for a new starting quarterback. Trey Lance with Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Ayock, Elijah Mitchell And a strong offensive line.

Mariners trade for Reds All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo ⚾ .

Smell it

gave Seattle Mariners Looks serious about ending their 21-year playoff drought. They are definitely spending at least that way. The Mariners traded for the two-time All-Star. Luis Castillo at the weekend Possibly the best pitcher acquisition rumored to be available as the trade deadline approaches..

Castillo — whose The 597 strikeouts over the last four seasons are tied for 10th in MLB. — Didn’t Come Cheap The Reds got a strong return for Seattle’s top prospect:

  • SS Nolvi Marte
  • SS Edwin Arroyo
  • RHP Levi Stoudt
  • RHP Andrew Moore

Both the Mariners and Reds received “A” commercial grades From MLB expert RJ Anderson, but it’s the Mariners we’ll be focusing on right now. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2001 but are currently second in the AL wild card race.

  • Anderson: “It’s a welcome sight in a few respects, starting with how it rewards a passionate (and tormented) fan base in Seattle and extending how it overall But the culture runs against the league. … The Mariners have a better chance now. Hosting [a first-round] The series and three-game rotation could lead to Castillo, the reigning Cy Young Award winner [Robbie Ray]etc Logan Gilbert, one of the most promising young starters in the game. … We’re giving the Mariners an A because we think it’s healthy for the game for teams — especially those who aren’t the usual suspects — to prioritize the potential for deep playoff runs, and because we castillo is well liked as a pitcher. “

Honorable mention

What are we watching on Monday 📺

Red Sox at Astroson ESPN at 8 p.m