The NBA is remembering legendary Hall of Famer Bill Russell in a major way. On Thursday, the league announced that they will be retiring No. 6 jerseys for all 30 teams.
According to ESPN, in addition to having Russell’s number retired, all players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys during the upcoming season, and there will also be a shamrock-shaped logo (for his team the Boston Celtics) with No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table.
Bill Russell will become the first player in NBA history to have his number retired throughout the league.
At the start of the new season, no team will be allowed to assign the No. 6 jersey to any of its players. However, players who have already been wearing the No. 6 prior to Russell’s passing may continue to do so. Some players who were already wearing the No. 6 jerseys on their teams include LeBron James, Kristaps Porzingis, Alex Caruso, Montrezl Harrell, and Lou Williams.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement,
“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserves to be honored in a unique and historic way. Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
The league also shared that the Boston Celtics have a “separate and unique recognition” for Bill Russell that will be applied to their uniforms.
Bill Russell played for the Celtics throughout his entire NBA career from 1956-1969. He also coached from 1966-1969, serving as a player-coach, making him the first Black head coach in the NBA. He went on to also coach the Seattle Supersonics and Sacramento Kings.
As previously reported, Bill Russell passed away at the end of last month, at the age of 88.
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