NBA to retire Russell's No. 6, honor his legacy in multiple ways next season


The NBA is going to honor Boston Celtics legend and civil rights icon Bill Russell in multiple ways during the upcoming 2022-23 season and beyond.

Russell died July 31 at the age of 88. He is one of the greatest champions in team sports history with 11 NBA titles, five league MVP awards, 12 All-Star selections and many other honors/awards.

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The league announced Thursday it is retiring Russell's No. 6 league-wide. Players currently wearing the number will be grandfathered in and allowed to keep it until they retire or change numbers.

There were 25 players who wore No. 6 last season, including LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. They will be the last players to use it.

In addition to retiring Russell's number, the league also revealed a few other ways it will honor Russell's legacy during the 2022-23 campaign.

"All NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table," the league wrote in a statement. "The Celtics, for whom Russell played his entire career and coached, will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon."

Russell becomes just the third player across the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL to have his number retired league wide, joining Wayne Gretzky (No. 99) in hockey and Jackie Robinson (No. 42) in baseball. 

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