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Russell Memorial Design Sketch

Posted by paul on September 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

A few days ago I expressed my disgruntled thoughts about the ballyhooed forthcoming Russell statue.  I also thought it was only fair that I make some sort of an attempt at a design myself.  So here is a sketch.  I'm not putting this forward as any thing great, or as a design solution.  It's just a sketch.  

Here's what I like about it.  It's not based on a photo.  It's based on my memories about Russell and my thoughts about him, and it attempts to express the idea that what Russell contributed to society went beyond basketball success, that he contributed a kind of energy to society that emphasized having pride in what one does, and teamwork.  This is represented by the abstract circle of 'energy', which Russell is holding, which takes the place of the basketball that might be expected in Russell's hands.  

In making this sketch, I was thinking about such things as the influence of Go Up For Glory on my life, and about some comments I read by Russell where he talks about his favorite moments from his career, moments where both teams were playing at such a high level that something beatiful in itself, far beyond winning and losing, was achieved collectively by everyone involved, from fans to players.   One might say that Russell's career was about dedication to achieving excellence, but that has become such a politically loaded idea these days that I hesitate to use it (where the notion of  rewarding 'excellence' has become political/economic cover for perpetuating inequality in society).

What makes being a Celtics fan such a delight these days is seeing the way that KG, Pierce, Rondo and even Ray Allen (formerly) restored the tradition of Celtics Pride, and the Celtics Way, that really began with Russell.   It may be about winning basketball games, on one level, but it can go so far beyond that.

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4 Comments

Reply Franklin
1:40 PM on September 1, 2012 
Its full of life. The ball of energy reflects the globe to me. Russell should be a global icon.
Reply paul
2:26 PM on September 1, 2012 
Thankyou, Franklin. I really just did this as a kind of obligation - having criticized public sports art so strongly - but I ended up liking it. I see that too - I feel that Russell maybe did more than anyone to make Basketball the globally meaningful phenomenon it is today, as something that has meaning for people on a lot of levels.
Reply Celticslifer
3:18 PM on September 1, 2012 
I like the sketch, it reminds me of something great,before the final porduct.
Reply paul
4:10 PM on September 1, 2012 
Celticslifer says...
I like the sketch, it reminds me of something great,before the final porduct.


the wonderful thing about a sketch is that feeling of open possibilities. I love that.