Following the passing of Boston Celtics star Bill Russell, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has formally retired the No. 6 jersey in the league. 

During his playing career, he set a record by winning a record 11 titles. He was also the NBA’s first black coach and title winner. 

This is significant given his achievements on the court, but his effort off the court has been even more impressive.  

A significant participant in the civil rights struggle was Russell. At the age of 88, he passed away quietly, and tributes to the iconic center have poured in. 

The legendary Boston Celtics were honored by NBA clubs, luminaries, current players, and former US presidents. 

We lost a giant today, Barack Obama tweeted. Even if Bill Russell is a fantastic player, his legacy as a person and as a human is much greater. 

Maybe more than anyone, Bill knew what it needed to win and what it took to lead, he continued.  

He was the greatest basketball champion ever on the court. In addition to that, he was a civil rights pioneer who marched alongside Dr. King and stood alongside Muhammad Ali.  

The way he played, coached and lived his life taught me a great deal. Michelle and I send our love to Bill’s family and those who looked up to him. 

Surprisingly, the Celtics retired his number, even though LeBron James and other players across the league wore it last year. 

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