In the NBA, Bill Russell will always wear the number “6.” The NBA, the NBPA, and Russell’s No. 6 will all be permanently retired. In the NBA, this is the first occasion where a player’s number has been retired.
The decision, according to Commissioner Adam Silver, will guarantee that Russell’s “transcendent career will always be honored.”
As stated by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, “Bill Russell’s extraordinary achievement on the court and groundbreaking civil rights work deserve to be celebrated in a unique and historic fashion.” Every NBA team permanently retiring Bill’s No. 6 ensures that his extraordinary career will always be remembered.
Less than a month ago, Russell passed away at the age of 88.
It might be argued that Russell was the best basketball player to ever play the game. Russell was a brilliant player for the Boston Celtics and won an unprecedented 11 titles in 13 seasons. Over the course of his 13-year career in the league, he was a 12-time All-Star, made 11 All-NBA teams, and won five MVP trophies. In 1975, he received his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
A basketball player will wear a Bill Russell patch.
The NBA will honor Russell by retiring his number and giving him a jersey patch. Each team’s jersey will have a commemorative patch sewn into the right sleeve. Every NBA floor will feature a clover-shaped graphic honoring Russell with the No. 6 on the sidelines.
According to the NBA, Russell will get “a different and special acknowledgment” on the Celtics’ uniforms. The squad is anticipated to make its plans public soon.
According to the NBA, players who are currently wearing the No. 6 are permitted to keep the number until they voluntarily alter it or retire. In the MLB, Mariano Rivera, the closer for the New York Yankees, wore No. 42 as the final player before the league retired it in honor of Jackie Robinson. Before the league retired it in 1997, Rivera donned the number and has since kept it as a memorial to Robinson.
Before the 2021–22 NBA season began, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James changed his jersey number to “6.” According to Basketball-Reference, 23 other players also wore No. 6 in the previous campaign.
Updates will be made to this story.
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