Invoice Russell’s No. 6 jersey first ever to be retired throughout complete NBA

The Nationwide Basketball Affiliation introduced plans Thursday to retire the jersey variety of late Boston Celtics legend Invoice Russell. Russell, an 11-time NBA champion and activist, handed away on July 31 on the age of 88. 

In line with the league, Russell’s No. 6, which he had all through his 13-season NBA profession, won’t be issued once more by any NBA staff. 

Gamers who presently maintain No. 6 jerseys will likely be exempt from the rule, and all NBA gamers will put on a commemorative patch on their uniforms through the 2022-23 season as a tribute to Russell. 

All NBA courts may also present a lover-shaped emblem with the No. 6 on the sideline close to the scorer’s desk, in accordance with the league. 

Bill Russell At The Free Throw Line
Invoice Russell of the Boston Celtics through the 1967 season.

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Photographs

Whereas particular groups within the league typically retire the jersey numbers of influential or distinctive gamers, this would be the first time a quantity is retired throughout the complete NBA. The Celtics retired Russell’s jersey quantity for his or her staff in 1972. 

“Invoice Russell’s unparalleled success on the court docket and pioneering civil rights activism need to be honored in a novel and historic manner,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in an announcement. “Completely retiring his No. 6 throughout each NBA staff ensures that Invoice’s transcendent profession will all the time be acknowledged.”

Russell spent his complete NBA profession with the Celtics. Throughout his time as a participant, he obtained the Most Invaluable Participant award 5 occasions, and was a 12-time NBA All-Star. Following his retirement as a participant, Russell returned to his beloved staff as a coach, turning into the primary Black head coach within the league and main the Celtics to 2 extra championship victories. 

Russell was inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Fame in 1975. 

Along with his sports activities profession, Russell was effectively referred to as an activist for social justice and civil rights, marching with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Russell was devoted to rising equality all through the league. In 2010, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President Barack Obama. 

“This can be a momentous honor reserved for one of many biggest champions to ever play the sport,” Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation Govt Director Tamika Tremaglio stated in an announcement Thursday. “Invoice’s actions on and off the court docket all through the course of his life helped to form generations of gamers for the higher and for that, we’re eternally grateful. We’re proud to proceed the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

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