The Los Angeles Lakers will join the rest of the NBA in celebrating the memory of Bill Russell, a Boston Celtics legend and one of the greatest athletes ever, during the 2022-23 season.
Russell passed away in July at the age of 88, prompting the NBA to retire his No. 6 jersey across the league. No other player in the Association’s history has ever received the honor.
But that made for a fitting tribute to one of the winningest athletes of all sports — a view shared by the many NBA legends, including Lakers icon Magic Johnson, who called on commissioner Adam Silver to retire Russell’s number after the Celtics great’s passing.
During his 13-year NBA career, Russell won 11 NBA championships — two of which came during his three-year stint as a player-coach between 1966-1969, which made him the NBA’s first-ever Black coach.
Russell’s legacy as both a generational talent and civil rights pioneer will forever be celebrated in the NBA and beyond. And to remind basketball fans of the legendary center’s impact on sports and society, the Lakers and players of every other team will wear a commemorative black No. 6 patch on their jerseys in 2022-23.
Also, a green clover-shaped logo with No. 6 on it will grace each NBA court during the season.
Interestingly, LeBron James, former Lakers guard and now-Chicago Bulls player Alex Caruso, and other NBA stars will be able to wear their No. 6 jerseys for as long as they stay in the league, as the number has been grandfathered.
But it will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player.
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