The National Basketball Association is set to retire Boston Celtics great Bill Russell's number, marking the first time the league has retired a player's number.
The move was announced jointly by the league and the National Basketball Players Association on Thursday.
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. The iconic Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA. pic.twitter.com/OSVx02bQDl
— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2022
The 11-time champion wore the No. 6 his entire NBA career, and it'll now be permanently retired by all 30 teams.
“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 press release. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
For those currently playing in the NBA and wearing the No. 6, like Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, the league said they could continue to do so, but the number cannot be issued by teams anymore.
The league added that a commemorative patch on the right shoulder would be displayed on every NBA jersey this upcoming season.
Also, this season, the league said a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 will be displayed on every NBA court on the sideline near the scorer’s table.
Russell passed away at the age of 88 on July 31.