• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

No. 6 to be retired by NBA in honor of Bill Russell

ByStaff Report

Aug 11, 2022
Bill Russell posing for a photo

Photo courtesy of Dick Raphael | NBAE via Getty Images

For the first time in the NBA’s history, a jersey number will be retired league-wide.

Over a week after the passing of Hall of Famer Bill Russell, the league announced the No. 6 will be retired across the league.

“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.  “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”

During the 2021-22 season, 25 players wore the No. 6, included Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso and Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the players that currently wear the number will be grandfathered, meaning they can keep the number but the number will not be assigned to another player.

Russell was a five-time league MVP, 12-time All-Star and an 11-time champion during his 13-year playing career. He served as a player/coach for the Boston Celtics in his final years as a player.