Bill Russell's No. 6 to be retired across NBA following legend's death last month

Players who currently wear the No. 6, including LeBron James, will be grandfathered in and can continue to use the number.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
Boston Celtics great Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion, dies at 88
Bill Russell, the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' dynasty that won eight straight titles and 11 overall during his career, died Sunday.

The NBA will honor 11-time champion and all-time great Bill Russell by retiring his No. 6 throughout the league.

A Russell commemorative patch on uniforms and a logo on courts will be used across the NBA as well for the 2022-23 season, the league and National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday.

"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 in a statement. "Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill's transcendent career will always be recognized."

Players who currently wear the No. 6 -- including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and the Washington Wizards' Kristaps Porzingis -- will be grandfathered in and can continue to use the number, which will not be issued again to any player, the league said.

Russell died July 31 at the age of 88. The Boston Celtics great won eight straight titles from 1959 to 1966 among his 11 overall, including two (1968, '69) while as both a player and serving as the NBA's first Black coach.

Russell was also known for his work in civil rights, and he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from Barack Obama in 2011.

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