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The NBA finally retires the No. 6 for Bill Russell

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, nicknamed the “Babe Ruth Basketball Player,” has now shared Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell with Jackie Robinson in eternal honor.

The NBA announced Thursday that it will permanently withdraw No. 6 Russell from the league in recognition of his personality Career in the Hall of Fame and pioneer of social justice. Russell, 11-time champion He died last month at the age of 88becomes the first NBA player to receive this honor, a move endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. this month in advance.

“Bill Russell’s unprecedented success in court and his pioneering civil rights leader deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” Silver said in a statement. “His retirement as a permanent sixth on every NBA team ensures Bale’s superlative career will always be honored.”

Existing NBA players with the number 6 — including Lakers star LeBron James — are allowed to continue, but teams can’t pass the number on to new players.

Major League Baseball was finally retired at No. 42 in honor of Robinson in 1997, half a century after the sport’s color barrier was broken. Russell became the first black coach in the NBA in 1966 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2011.

The NBA, who named Russell 2009 Finals Player of the Year, will honor his career in the 2022-23 season. In addition to the commemorative jersey badges, a court badge featuring the Celtics number 6 clover logo will be placed near the scorer’s table at each yard.

“Bill’s actions on and off the field throughout his life have helped shape generations of players for the better, and for that we are forever grateful,” said NBA Executive Director Tamica Trimaglio. “We are proud to celebrate his life and legacy alongside the league.”

Russell No. 6 was previously retired from the University of San Francisco, where he won NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956, and from the Celtics, with whom he played his entire 13-year NBA career from 1956-1969.

Retiring the jersey at league level is the last honor to be recognized historical profession. At USF, Russell was a two-time All-American and MVP at the 1955 NCAA tournament. After winning a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Russell was a five-time MVP, 12-time All-Star, and 11-time NBA MVP with one Team Celtics.

After retiring, Russell was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach, was named to the 25th, 35th, 55th and 75th anniversary teams of the National Basketball Association, and received the 2017 NBA Lifetime Achievement Award.

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