NBA To Retire No. 6 Bill Russell Jersey
SALT LAKE CITY – The NBA will retire the number 6 jersey league-wide to honor the Boston Celtics great Bill Russell.
Russell passed away on July 31, at the age of 88.
“The iconic Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA,” the league announced Thursday.
The NBA and NBPA announced today that they will honor the life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell by permanently retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 11, 2022
The Career of Bill Russell
In addition to retiring Russell’s number, the league will pay respects to the Celtics legend in arenas throughout the NBA.
“All NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table,” according to the NBA. “The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms.”
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, players already wearing the number 6, including Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will be able to continue to wear the number.
Players who currently wear No. 6 – such as Lakers‘ LeBron James – will be grandfathered. https://t.co/bhNSldVKz0
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 11, 2022
After winning two NCAA titles at the University of San Francisco, Russell was selected second overall in the 1956 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks.
Russell was traded to the Celtics after the draft where he went on the create the greatest dynasty in NBA history.
In 13 seasons with the franchise, including three seasons as a player/coach, Russell helped the Celtics to 11 titles.
Among his other accolades, Russell was an Olympic gold medalist, a 12-time NBA all-star, 11-time All-NBA, led the league in rebounding four times and was a five-time NBA MVP.
Bill Russell's impact extended far beyond the basketball courthttps://t.co/t3SPUJngZI
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) August 6, 2022
Following his playing career, Russell spent four seasons as head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics and one year and the helm of the Sacramento Kings.
Russell was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1975 and as a coach in 2021.
The NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is named for Russell.
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