The NBA is phasing out the sixth game number in honor of the deceased Russell

© AFP 2022 / MICHAEL REAVESBill Russell

Bill Russell - 1920, 08/11/2022

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MOSCOW, 11 Aug – The National Basketball Association (NBA) on its official website announced the complete withdrawal from circulation in the league of the 6th game number in honor of the recently deceased Bill Russell.
Eleven-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics Bill Russell died on July 31 at the age of 88.
Russell will be the first player to have his number completely removed from the NBA and will no longer be issued to any new player. Basketball players who currently have the sixth game numbers will become their last owners. In addition, the NBA will pay tribute to the Boston Celtics legend in the 2022-23 season. All players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys.
He was one of the first black basketball players in the NBA. He played his entire league career with the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. Russell was named MVP of the NBA five times and was a 12-time All-Star. As part of the US team, he became the Olympic champion at the 1956 Games in Melbourne.
Russell also became the first black head coach in the NBA. As a coach, he worked with Boston, as well as with the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings clubs. Russell is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and as a coach, as well as into the International Basketball Federation Hall of Fame as a player. He shares with hockey player Henri Richard the record for the number of champion titles won by an athlete in one of the North American sports leagues. Since 2009, the NBA Finals MVP award has been named after Russell.

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