The late Bill Russell will become the first NBA player to have his number retired across the entire league.
Team’s will display Russell’s No. 6 on a clover-shaped logo near their scorer’s table starting next season. All NBA players will also wear a commemorative patch on their right shoulder throughout 2022-23. The Celtics will do something special with their uniforms to honor the greatest champion in the history of team sports, but that is yet to be announced.
“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said with the league’s announcement. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
As was the case when MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all of baseball, players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered (i.e. LeBron James).