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Tribute to Boston Celtics legend: NBA to retire Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey league wide

NEW YORK — The number 6 worn by late Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Bill Russell will be permanently retired across the NBA.

The league announced the move Thursday.

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

Russell will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA.

“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play the game,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “Bill’s actions on and off the court throughout the course of his life helped to shape generations of players for the better and for that, we are forever grateful. We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

The NBA will pay also tribute to the Russell throughout the 2022-23 season.

All 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 Celtics will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon, according to the league.

Russell’s wore #6 for his entire 13-season career from 1956-69, and will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player.

Players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered.

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