NBA retires no. 6 of Bill Russell league wide
August 13, 2022
According to Jasmyn Wimbish of CBS Sports on Thursday, the National Basketball Association has decide to retire the number six of Bill Russell throughout the entire league. Russell passed away on July 31 at the age of 88.
Russell becomes the third professional sports athlete throughout North America to have his number retired throughout the entire league. He joins National Hockey League player Wayne Gretzky, who had his number 99 retired in 2000, and Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson, who had his number 42 retired in 1997. One could make the argument that Gretzky was the most dominant athlete in the history of organized sport. Robinson meanwhile, broke the colour barrier in baseball.
Russell won the NBA Finals 11 times. That is the most NBA championships of all-time. In another hockey reference, former Montreal Canadiens center Henri Richard of Montreal, Quebec is the only other professional sports athlete in North America to have won a league championship 11 times. Ironically, Richard passed away just last year at the age of 84.
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Listed at 6’10”, 215 pounds, Russell was the most valuable player in the NBA five times–in 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965. He was a 12-time all-star and recognized as the fifth best player in NBA history, behind only Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. Russell’s 24.9 rebounds per game in the postseason is a NBA record.
There have been some great players to wear number six in the NBA over the years. They include LeBron James when he was with the Miami Heat, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, DeAndre Jordan, and Ben Wallace.