Following the passing of Boston Celtics star Bill Russell, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has formally retired the No. 6 jersey in the league.
Tribute to the legend
The most renowned player in NBA history is Bill Russell.
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. Bill was the victim of violence and vandalism for many years, yet this did not deter him from speaking up for what was right.
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.
Big-wigs in the industry campaigned for the league to retire Russell’s No. 6 jersey as a result.
Surprisingly, the Celtics retired his number, even though LeBron James and other players across the league wore it last year.
Russell, the all-time top scorer in NBA history with 11 titles won in 13 seasons as a Celtic, has previously requested that the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, remove Russell’s number. Magic Johnson is considered one of the game’s all-time greats.
In a tweet from earlier this month, the Magic urged Commissioner Adam Silver to retire jersey number 6 in Bill Russell’s honor.
And Adam Silver later announced that the number will no longer be worn around the NBA in August 2022, fulfilling his promise.