The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced this Thursday its decision to withdraw the number six number from all league uniforms in honor of the memory and legacy of Bill Russell, legend of the Boston Celtics and the one who has won the most times the ring (11) of champion, who died on July 31 at the age of 88.
“The life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell will be honored by retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league. Iconic Basketball Hall of Famer Naismith Memorial will be the first player to have his number retired in the entire NBA.”
In addition to retiring Russell’s number, the NBA will pay tribute to the Boston Celtics legend throughout the 2022-23 season. All players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and each court will display a number 6 trefoil logo on the sideline near the scorer’s table.
The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate, unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon.
“Bill Russell’s unprecedented success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way. Permanently retiring his number from every NBA team ensures that Bill’s momentous career is always recognized.” Commissioner Adam Silver said.
“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play. Bill’s actions on and off the pitch throughout his life helped improve generations of players and for that, we will be eternally grateful. We are proud to continue celebrating his life and legacy with the league,” said National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio.