Magic Johnson To The NBA: Retire Bill Russell’s Jersey Number Across The League

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The death of NBA icon Bill Russell has resulted in a number of prominent figures honoring his legacy as a game-changing force on and off the hardwood. Fellow NBA legend Magic Johnson recently suggested that the NBA should retire the jersey number Russell wore during the entirety of his basketball career across the entire league.

“Commissioner Adam Silver should retire number 6 across the @NBA in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy!” tweeted the entrepreneur on Tuesday (Aug. 2). The revolutionary’s jersey number was retired by the Boston Celtics 50 years ago in 1972, three years after his final season and NBA Finals as a player.

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The gesture would be a fitting one by the NBA, as Russell is arguably the most decorated player in the league’s history. During his 13 years playing in the NBA, Russell won 11 NBA championships, including eight consecutive titles in a row. He also won two additional NBA championships as coach of the Boston Celtics.

Russell’s championship pedigree prompted the NBA to rename the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his honor, which he has given to various NBA stars himself over the years. Players who wore No. 6 during the 2021-2022 NBA season include Lance Stephenson, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Kristaps Porzingis, and most notably, NBA megastar and future Hall of Famer LeBron James.

Bill Russell passed away on Sunday (July 31) at age 88. The news was announced with an official statement on the legend’s Twitter account.

Check out additional tributes to Bill Russell by Magic Johnson, Steph Curry, and other NBA greats below.

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