Bill Russell becomes first player in NBA history to have his jersey retired throughout league

2022-08-11 19:15
Credit: REUTERS – Scanpix
Credit REUTERS – Scanpix

The NBA will retire the No. 6 league-wide honoring the late, legendary player and activist Bill Russell, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Bill Russell becomes the first player in NBA history to have his jersey retired across the league.

Charania further reports that all NBA players will also wear a patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys during the 2022-23 season, and every arena's court will display a clover-shaped logo with No. 6.

Players who currently wear No. 6 – such as Lakers' LeBron James –  will be grandfathered, via the report.

Regarded as the ultimate winner and model teammate, Russell transformed the game with his dominant defense and graceful athleticism at the center position. He won a record 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons.

Russell, who led Boston to eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959-66, was so synonymous with a success that the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award was named for him in 2009.

His myriad accomplishments included five NBA Most Valuable Player awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections, and 11 All-NBA Team honors.  Russell was named to all four NBA anniversary teams (25th, 35th, 50th, and 75th) and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

A four-time NBA rebounding champion, he ranks second in league history in total rebounds (21,620) and rebounds per game (22.5) in the regular season. The Celtics retired his No. 6 jersey in 1972.

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