News just broke that Bill Russell’s number six will be the first number retired league wide in NBA history. This is what’s being referred to as “the ultimate tribute” by TMZ. Russell was not only a superstar in his time on the court, but off the court as well.
Russell was a major advocate for change, and he’ll be remembered forever. Active players who currently don #6 will be allowed to keep their number, most notably LeBron James, who is yet to comment on the situation. The retirement was announced no less than an hour ago, with commissioner Adam Silver making this statement per TMZ, “”Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” Silver said. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.” Former players like Magic Johnson and Mike Woodson also advocated for this to happen, and it finally has.
Russell’s career was simply exceptional, posting ELEVEN NBA championships (wow), 5 MVP awards, and 11 All NBA team selections. These are 2k stats in today’s game, would have to put the game on easy mode to have a career like that. This guy is easily one of the best to ever touch the hardwood, and his legacy for sure shows that. Even with the generation he played in, he showed an ELITE level of dominance. He also looked at some of the best centers to ever play the game at the 2017 NBA Awards and said “I would kick your ass.” The likes of Kareem, Shaq, Dikembe Mutombo, and David Robinson were on that stage. Dude was badass. Rest in paradise big guy, you will be missed.