NBA

NBA To Retire Bill Russell’s Number 6 Across League

Aug 11, 2022, 12:28 PM
NBA great Bill Russell gets introduced to the crowd during the NBA Europe Live Tour presented by EA...
NBA great Bill Russell gets introduced to the crowd during the NBA Europe Live Tour presented by EA Sports on October 11, 2006 at the Kölnarena in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Mansoor Ahmed/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mansoor Ahmed/Getty Images)

For the first time in NBA history, a player’s number will be retired across the entire league.

The NBA announced Thursday the league will honor the late Bill Russell by retiring his number 6 across the entire league. He will be the first player to hold this honor.

Russell died on Sunday, July 31. Best known for his time with the Boston Celtics, he finished his coaching career with the Sacramento Kings during the 1987-88 season. He finished with a 17-41 record. Russell won eight straight titles with the Boston Celtics and 11 total in his career. The Hall of Famer was 88.

Players currently wearing #6 will be grandfathered.

The NBA will also honor Bill Russell throughout the 2022-23 season with commemorative patches on all jerseys and a display on all NBA courts of a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6. The Celtics plan to hold their own, special recognition sometime this season.

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

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NBA To Retire Bill Russell’s Number 6 Across League