NBA completely retires Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey

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Hailed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as “Basketball’s Babe Ruth,” Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell now shares a timeless honor with Jackie Robinson.

The NBA introduced Thursday that it’ll completely retire Russell’s No. 6 throughout the league in recognition of his Corridor of Fame profession and pioneering social justice activism. Russell, an 11-time champion who died final month at 88, turns into the primary NBA participant to obtain this honor, a transfer endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson earlier this month.

“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” Silver mentioned in a press release. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”

Present NBA gamers who put on No. 6 — together with Lakers star LeBron James — can be allowed to proceed, however groups is not going to situation the quantity to new gamers.

Main League Baseball completely retired No. 42 in honor of Robinson in 1997, a half-century after he broke the game’s shade barrier. Russell turned the NBA’s first Black coach in 1966, and he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Bill Russell actually was the best of all time

The NBA, which named its Finals MVP award after Russell in 2009, will acknowledge his profession all through the 2022-2023 season. Along with commemorative jersey patches, a court docket insignia bearing a Celtics’ clover brand with the No. 6 can be positioned close to the scorer’s desk at each enviornment.

“Bill’s actions on and off the court throughout the course of his life helped to shape generations of players for the better and for that, we are forever grateful,” NBPA Govt Director Tamika Tremaglio mentioned. “We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

Russell’s No. 6 was beforehand retired by the College of San Francisco, the place he received NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956, and by the Celtics, with whom he performed for the whole thing of his 13-year NBA profession from 1956 to 1969.

The leaguewide jersey retirement is simply the newest honor in a storied profession. At USF, Russell was a two-time all-American and the 1955 NCAA match’s most excellent participant. After successful a gold medal on the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Russell was a five-time MVP, 12-time all-star and 11-time all-NBA choice with the Celtics.

Following his retirement, Russell was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Corridor of Fame as each a participant and a coach, named to the NBA’s twenty fifth, thirty fifth, fiftieth and seventy fifth anniversary groups and given the league’s lifetime achievement award in 2017.

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