NEW YORK, NY. (AP) – Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey is being retired across the NBA.
The league and the National Basketball Players Association made the announcement Thursday, permanently retiring the number worn by the 11-time champion, civil rights activist and someone good enough to have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.
Russell becomes the first player to have his number retired leaguewide.
He died on July 31 at the age of 88.
Major League Baseball permanently retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the big league’s color barrier.
And the NHL retired Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 in honor of that sport’s all-time scoring leader.
The NBA and NBPA announced today that they will honor the life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell by permanently retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 11, 2022