The NBA’s storied rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers saw another riveting regular season edition during the 2022-23 season.
The Lakers were able to battle back from a 20-point deficit and take a lead in the second half before ultimately succumbing to the Celtics in overtime. It was a thrilling win for Boston fans but a heartbreaker for the Los Angeles faithful, who once again had to deal with the team’s late-game execution.
Both franchises have seen some of the greatest players in league history suit up for them, including Bill Russell who embodied the spirit of winning. Russell unfortunately passed away this past summer, rocking the basketball world and the NBA family.
As a sign of respect, the Lakers played a video tribute for the Celtics legend in between quarters:
— Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand) December 14, 2022
It’s a touching tribute to one of the all-time greats in Russell. Los Angeles and Boston may have a heated rivalry, but there’s no denying the impact Russell had on the game of basketball and for that he should be remembered fondly.
In order to honor his legacy, the NBA announced that every player will have a patch embroidered on their jersey with the number six on it, Russell’s playing number. In addition, they also announced that No. 6 would be retired across the league and only players that had already been wearing the number would be allowed to don it.
Russell was the true definition of a winner, capturing 11 NBA titles with the Celtics. He was also awarded the regular season MVP award five times and named to the All-Star team 12 times. Russell later found success as a head coach, winning two more titles with Boston to bring his total ring count to 13.
LeBron James plans to continue wearing No. 6 to honor Bill Russell
There aren’t many players who can stack up to Russell’s resume, but LeBron James will also go down as one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players. When the news that Russell’s No. 6 would be retired across the league, James agreed with the decision and also added that he planned to continue wearing the number in order to honor the legend.
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