Bill Russell Becomes First Player to Have Jersey Number Retired Across NBA
One of the greatest basketball players to ever hit the courts is having his jersey number retired across the entire National Basketball Association.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have just announced the life and legacy of popular NBA Hall of Famer, Bill Russell will be cemented by permanently retiring the number 6, his uniform number throughout the league. This comes a few weeks after his unexpected death.
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 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer has become the very first player to have his number retired across the NBA.
“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a written statement. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
The upcoming 2022-23 NBA season will see teams throughout the league celebrating and acknowledging the NBA great.
Every NBA player will be wearing a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, while all NBA home courts will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table. Russell played his entire career with the Boston Celtics, as they played on honoring him in special ways throughout the season.
“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play the game,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “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. We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”
Players who are currently wearing No. 6 on their jerseys will be grandfathered, including future Hall of Famer, LeBron James.