NBA legend Bill Russell cited for loaded gun at Seattle airport

Boston Celtics former center Bill Russell in attendance during the 2013 NBA all star shooting stars competition at the Toyota Center in this February 2013 file photo. He was cited Wednesday for having a loaded gun in his carry-on baggage at a Seattle airport.
Brett Davis | USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics former center Bill Russell in attendance during the 2013 NBA all star shooting stars competition at the Toyota Center in this February 2013 file photo. He was cited Wednesday for having a loaded gun in his carry-on baggage at a Seattle airport.
Posted Oct. 19, 2013, at 11:51 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 19, 2013, at 12:29 p.m.

SEATTLE — NBA legend Bill Russell was cited Wednesday for having a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, federal and airport officials said Saturday.

Transportation Security Administration officials found a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in a male passenger’s carry-on bag Wednesday evening, according to a TSA spokeswoman. The man was traveling to Boston.

An airport spokesman, in a recorded telephone message, identified the passenger as Russell, the 79-year-old National Basketball Association Hall of Famer, who lives in the Seattle area.

The TSA spokeswoman said the gun contained six rounds. TSA contacted Port of Seattle police, who cited Russell for having a weapon in a prohibited area, a state violation, the airport message said. The firearm was confiscated, and Russell was released.

Firearms are prohibited in carry-on baggage. They may be carried unloaded in checked baggage and stored in a locked, hard-sided container, according to the TSA.

A representative for Russell could not be reached for comment.

Russell had been a star with the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 60s and was named NBA most valuable player five times. He later served as coach of the Seattle SuperSonics during the 1970s.

 

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