REPORT: The NBA Will Retire Bill Russells’ Number 6 League-Wide

REUTERS/Boston Globe/John Tlumacki/Pool

Seth Roy Contributor
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The NBA will retire the number “6” league-wide to honor the late Bill Russell.

The Boston Celtics legend will be glorified with patches on all of the players jerseys across the league in the upcoming 2022-2023 basketball season, according to NBA insider for the Athletic, Shams Charania. Every court will reportedly have a clover-shaped logo with the number “6” on the floor to honor the 11-time champion.

Bill Russell was a force to be reckoned with during his playing days in Boston. Russell’s Celtics won an incredible 11 championship trophies during his 13 year career in the NBA. His 11 titles are the most by any player in NBA history. Russell was also undefeated in elimination games during his basketball career, going 10-0, according to NBC Sports. The basketball icon is considered by many to be the greatest winner, not only in NBA history, but in all of team sports. (RELATED: Three-Time Super Bowl Champion James White Retires From Professional Football)

Off the court, the Hall of Famer was a civil rights icon. In 1961, Russell and his teammates famously boycotted a game in Lexington, Kentucky, after being denied service in a hotel café due to their skin color. Russell told reporters the day after their walk out, according to NPR, “we’ve got to show our disapproval of this kind of treatment or else the status quo will prevail. We have the same rights and privileges as anyone else and deserve to be treated accordingly. I hope we never have to go through this abuse again. But if it happens, we won’t hesitate to take the same action again.”

Russell also marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King during the March on Washington in 1963 and was in attendance for his famous “I have a dream” speech in August of that same year. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama awarded Russell with the Medal of Freedom for “helping change the culture of a sport and the course of our nation.”

The decision to retire Russell’s number seems to be the right thing to do. It helps cement his legacy as the greatest athlete/activist to ever live.