Sorrow engulfed the NBA after the passing of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell at the age of 88 on Sunday.
Russell won 11 titles in 14 seasons with the Celtics, beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six NBA Finals along the way. Two of his rings came during the dominant center’s time as Boston’s player-coach between 1966-1969.
To honor his accolades, Russell was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame twice — in 1975 for his achievements as a player and 2021 as a head coach, becoming only the fifth ever person to be enshrined as both.
Russell will be remembered as one of the most-decorated athletes in all sports. To honor his legacy, Lakers legend Magic Johnson has called on commissioner Adam Silver to retire the Celtics great’s No. 6 jersey within the entire NBA:
Commissioner Adam Silver should retire number 6 across the @NBA in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 2, 2022
The NBA has not universally retired a player’s jersey yet, unlike the NHL and MLB. The NHL did so in 2000, honoring Wayne Gretzky’s career a year after the former Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings’ No. 99 called time on his illustrious career.
Meanwhile, MLB retired the late Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in 1997 to celebrate the legacy of the legendary Brooklyn Dodger and emphasize his impact on the push for quality and social justice.
Jerry West has likened Russell’s impact on sports and society to Robinson’s after the Celtics icon’s death.
Johnson pays tribute to late Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully
Two days after Russell’s passing, legendary L.A. Dodgers announcer Vin Scully died at the age of 94.
Johnson paid tribute to Scully on Twitter, describing his admiration for the broadcaster’s style and empathetic personality.
The Lakers great added Scully’s “legacy will live on throughout Major League Baseball and he will be remembered as the greatest announcer ever in MLB history.”
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