Main menu


Bill Russell becomes the first player in NBA history to abolish jersey numbers throughout the league. NBA news

It will be the first time in league history that Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey will be retired NBA-wide.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday that they would permanently retire the jersey number worn by the 11-time champion, civil rights activist, and enough to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. announced 30 teams.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights movement deserves to be celebrated in a unique and historic way.” By permanently retiring number 6, Bill’s extraordinary career will always be recognized.”

Players currently wearing the number 6, including LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, may continue to do so. However, the number cannot be reissued, the league said.

All NBA players will wear a patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys this season, and all NBA courts will display a clover-shaped logo and the number 6 on the sideline near the scorers’ table, according to the league. increase.

According to the NBA, the Boston Celtics are planning to “specially recognize him on their uniforms.”

Russell died on July 31 at the age of 88. He is the most prolific winner in his NBA history, winning his 11th championship in his 13-year career and his last two titles as a player and coach. Did. He has coached and won championships in one of the major professional sports in the United States.

He marched with Martin Luther King Jr., stood up with Muhammad Ali, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

And with his number retired across the league, he’s been put into a very exclusive club.

Boston Celtics star Bill Russell (left) is congratulated by coach Red Auerbach after scoring 10,000 points in a December 1964 NBA game against the Baltimore Bullets in Boston.

Major League Baseball has permanently retired the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson broke the big league color barrier with the understanding that anyone who wore that number could continue to wear it. Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees last wore number 42 in the majors until his final season in 2013.

On Wayne Gretzky’s retirement in 1999, the NHL said his number 99 would be retired league-wide in honor of the sport’s all-time scoring leader.

And now Russell is getting the same treatment. It also seems fitting that he and Robinson – both barrier-breakers – reunite.

Evidently, Robinson also held Russell in high esteem. Her widow, Rachel Robinson, asked Russell to be her pallbearer at her husband’s funeral in 1972.

“This is a huge honor for one of the greatest champions of all time,” said Tamika Tremaglio, Executive Director of the NBPA. He helped shape us for the better, for which we are forever grateful and proud to continue celebrating his life and legacy with the league.”

More than 250 players in NBA history have worn the number 6 jersey, and 24 of them wore the number 6 jersey in at least one game last season.

No Celtics player has worn number 6 since 1968-69, Russell’s final season.

Russell is one of 12 players currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame and wore the number 6 at least at some point in his career. Others: Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Ben Wallace, Don Barksdale, Chuck Cooper, Larry Costello, Tom Gola, Cliff Hagan, Alex Hunnam, Buddy Janet, Neil Johnston.