Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson couldn’t hold back his emotions as he mourned the passing of Boston Celtics icon Bill Russell on Sunday.

In a series of Tweets, the NBA icon shared his love and admiration for Russell, whom he called his “idol” growing up. He paid tribute to him and honored the life he lived on and off the court, adding that he “will forever remember his cackling laugh, sense of humor and love for the game of basketball.”

“I’m heartbroken to hear about the passing of the greatest winner the game of basketball has ever seen, a legend, hall of famer, mentor and my friend for over 30 years, Bill Russell,” Johnson wrote in his first tweet.

“Bill Russell was my idol. I looked up to him on the court and off. His success on the court was undeniable; he was dominate and great, winning 11 NBA championships. Off the court, Bill Russell paved the way for guys like me.”

Magic Johnson also shared how Bill Russell was among the first athletes to fight for social justice, equality and civil right, adding that the NBA legend has always reminded him as well to always try to make things better for the Black community.

Here’s Johnson incredible message and tribute for Russell:

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Russell passed away peacefully at the age of 88, prompting several reactions from fans and players alike as they also pay tribute to him and mourn his death. Even Michael Jordan shared his respect for the late Celtics great, calling him a “pioneer” who “paved the way” for every Black player who came into the league after him.

Rest in peace, legend!