Bill Russell: Legend — release date, trailer and all you need to know

top-down black and white photo of Bill Russell on the University of San Francisco basketball team shooting a lay-up for Bill Russell: Legends
Bill Russell during his time on the University of San Francisco basketball team on February 23, 1956. (Image credit: AP IMAGES/COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

Bill Russell: Legend is primed to deliver the 'definitive retelling' of the Boston Celtics NBA superstar.

This two-part Netflix film comes from International Documentary Association career achievement award-winning director, Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI), and features the last-ever interview with the 12-time NBA All-Star prior to his passing in the summer of 2022. 

Bill Russell: Legend delves into Russell's storied career—which included an Olympic Gold Medal and 11 Championship titles—whilst also delving into his presence in the civil rights movement off the court, efforts which resulted in Barack Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Expect to hear from Bill Russell's nearest and dearest as well as interviews with fellow basketball icons like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Steph Curry. 

Here's everything you need to know about Bill Russell: Legend...

Bill Russell: Legend release date

Bill Russell: Legend is now available to stream on Netflix after releasing on February 8. The documentary is made up of two parts, both of which run for roughly an hour and a half.

What is Bill Russell: Legend about?

Barack Obama putting the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Bill Russell

Bill Russell receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. (Image credit: Charles Dharapak/AP Images/Courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix's full summary gives a very clear idea of what to expect from the basketball doc. It reads: "The remarkable life and legacy of an NBA superstar and civil rights icon is captured in the documentary Bill Russell: Legend. This two-part film from award-winning director Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI, Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power) features the last interview with Bill prior to his passing in 2022 as well as access to his sprawling personal archives. 

"On the court, Russell went on to lead each and every one of his basketball teams to championships — two back-to-back NCAA titles, a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and 11 championship titles in his thirteen-year career as a Boston Celtic (his last two as the first Black head coach in NBA history). 

"Off the court Russell was a force in the fight for human rights — marching with Martin Luther King Jr., leading boycotts in the NBA over racist practices and speaking out against segregation — efforts which earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Narrated by actors Jeffrey Wright and Corey Stoll and featuring exclusive interviews with the icon’s family and friends as well as Steph Curry, Chris Paul, “Magic” Johnson, Larry Bird, Jim Brown and more, Bill Russell: Legend illuminates the ways in which Russell stood tall in every sense of the word."

Is there a Bill Russell: Legend trailer?

Yes! It was released just a couple of weeks before the documentary dropped, and it features all sorts of talking heads discussing how much of an impact Bill had on and off the court. Check it below:

Who narrates Bill Russell: Legend?

You'll hear two stars' voices throughout Bill: Russell: Legend. Corey Stoll (who you might recognize as MODOK from the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer) narrates both episodes of the sports doc.

Meanwhile, Westworld and The Batman star Jeffrey Wright is also on hand. He lends his voice to extracts from Russell's memoirs when the filmmakers are not using the NBA star's own voice.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at

Martin is a Staff Writer with, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.