Tribute to Boston Celtics legend: NBA to retire Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey league wide

·1 min read

The number 6 worn by late Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Bill Russell will be permanently retired across the NBA.

The league announced the move Thursday.

“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”

Russell will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA.

“This is a momentous honor reserved for one of the greatest champions to ever play the game,” said NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio. “Bill’s actions on and off the court throughout the course of his life helped to shape generations of players for the better and for that, we are forever grateful. We are proud to continue the celebration of his life and legacy alongside the league.”

The NBA will pay also tribute to the Russell throughout the 2022-23 season.

All players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys, and every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer’s table. The Celtics will have a separate and unique recognition for him on their uniforms, to be announced soon, according to the league.

Russell’s wore #6 for his entire 13-season career from 1956-69, and will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player.

Players who currently wear No. 6 will be grandfathered.

Bill Russell, Boston Celtics legend and civil rights pioneer, dies at 88

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 16:  Bill Russell leans on a representation of the new box during a ceremony to honor him and unveil a new Wheaties box February 16, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE  (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 16: Bill Russell leans on a representation of the new box during a ceremony to honor him and unveil a new Wheaties box February 16, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15:  Disney chairman Michael Eisner (left) is joined by Spike Lee (center) and Bill Russell at opening of the ESPN Zone resturant in Times Square.  (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 15: Disney chairman Michael Eisner (left) is joined by Spike Lee (center) and Bill Russell at opening of the ESPN Zone resturant in Times Square. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Basketball: NBA Finals: Closeup of former Boston Celtics player and Hall of Famer Bill Russell before Game 1 of Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic series.  Los Angeles, CA 6/4/2009 CREDIT: John W. McDonough (Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X82537 TK1 R1 F33 )
Basketball: NBA Finals: Closeup of former Boston Celtics player and Hall of Famer Bill Russell before Game 1 of Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic series. Los Angeles, CA 6/4/2009 CREDIT: John W. McDonough (Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X82537 TK1 R1 F33 )
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15:  Former Boston Celtics captain Bill Russell listens during the 2010 Medal of Freedom presentation ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Former Boston Celtics captain Bill Russell listens during the 2010 Medal of Freedom presentation ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 07: (l-r) Bill Russell greets his fiancee Rose Swisher as he arrives at the San Francisco Airport on December 7, 1956. Russell had just returned from the Olympic Games in Melbourne. The pair would marry two days later. (Duke Downey/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 07: (l-r) Bill Russell greets his fiancee Rose Swisher as he arrives at the San Francisco Airport on December 7, 1956. Russell had just returned from the Olympic Games in Melbourne. The pair would marry two days later. (Duke Downey/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09: Rose Swisher and her husband Bill Russell kiss during their wedding in Oakland, CA., on December 9, 1956. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09: Rose Swisher and her husband Bill Russell kiss during their wedding in Oakland, CA., on December 9, 1956. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09: Rose Swisher and her husband Bill Russell following their wedding in Oakland, CA., on December 9, 1956. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09: Rose Swisher and her husband Bill Russell following their wedding in Oakland, CA., on December 9, 1956. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
APRIL 7: Bill Russell and his sons, Budda, 3, and Jacob, 20 months. (Photo by Paul Connell/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
APRIL 7: Bill Russell and his sons, Budda, 3, and Jacob, 20 months. (Photo by Paul Connell/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 17: Bill Russell and David Robinson talk during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 17: Bill Russell and David Robinson talk during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 4:  The University of San Francisco's Bill Russell, left, plays in a game against Loyola of Los Angeles in the opening game of a double-header at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA., on February 4, 1955. USF defeated Loyola 65-55 in the game. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 4: The University of San Francisco's Bill Russell, left, plays in a game against Loyola of Los Angeles in the opening game of a double-header at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA., on February 4, 1955. USF defeated Loyola 65-55 in the game. (Bill Young/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE - 1972:  Bill Russell and Keith Jackson commentate during a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers circa 1972  at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1972 NBAE (Photo by Vernon Biever/NBAE via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE - 1972: Bill Russell and Keith Jackson commentate during a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers circa 1972 at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1972 NBAE (Photo by Vernon Biever/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Bill Russell, Nick Carter and Paris Hilton seen court side during the All Star Game as part of 2004 NBA All Star Weekend on February 15, 2004 in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Bill Russell, Nick Carter and Paris Hilton seen court side during the All Star Game as part of 2004 NBA All Star Weekend on February 15, 2004 in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 21:  Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Russell attends a game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Las Vegas Aces at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Lynx 79-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 21: Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Russell attends a game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Las Vegas Aces at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Lynx 79-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 31:  Boston Celtics center Bill Russell relaxes in a whirlpool bath following a Celtics practice at the University of San Francisco's gym in San Francisco, CA., on December 31, 1963. (Peter Breinig/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 31: Boston Celtics center Bill Russell relaxes in a whirlpool bath following a Celtics practice at the University of San Francisco's gym in San Francisco, CA., on December 31, 1963. (Peter Breinig/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 11: Bill Russell speaks during the 2021Naismith Memorial  Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony  presented by Charles Barkley , Julius Erving , Spencer Haywood , Alonzo Mourning , Bill Walton and  Rick Welts at Symphony Hall on September 11, 2021 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 11: Bill Russell speaks during the 2021Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony presented by Charles Barkley , Julius Erving , Spencer Haywood , Alonzo Mourning , Bill Walton and Rick Welts at Symphony Hall on September 11, 2021 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Hall of Famers Bill Russell, left, and Joe Morgan were joined by Judy Pace Flood, the widow of baseball great Curt Flood, at the Oakland Museum of California's tribute to former McClymonds High School coach George Powles, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. Powles, who died in 1989, was lionized for his mentoring of a group of sports elite that also included baseball Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson. (Photo by D. Ross Cameron/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Hall of Famers Bill Russell, left, and Joe Morgan were joined by Judy Pace Flood, the widow of baseball great Curt Flood, at the Oakland Museum of California's tribute to former McClymonds High School coach George Powles, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006, in Oakland, Calif. Powles, who died in 1989, was lionized for his mentoring of a group of sports elite that also included baseball Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson. (Photo by D. Ross Cameron/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 9 : Bill Russell waves to the crowd as he was introduced as one of the 50 best players in NBA history during half time at the All-Star Game at Gund Arena on February 9th 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges  and agrees that, by downloading and or using this  photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2002 (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE/ Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 9 : Bill Russell waves to the crowd as he was introduced as one of the 50 best players in NBA history during half time at the All-Star Game at Gund Arena on February 9th 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2002 (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE/ Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: (L-R) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: (L-R) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 7: A behind the scenes view of Willis Reed, Wes Unseld and Bill Russell as the NBA celebrates the naming of the 50 greatest players during NBA All-Star weekend on February 7, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE  (Photo by Kevin Reeves/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 7: A behind the scenes view of Willis Reed, Wes Unseld and Bill Russell as the NBA celebrates the naming of the 50 greatest players during NBA All-Star weekend on February 7, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Kevin Reeves/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: (L-R) Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell and a guest attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: (L-R) Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell and a guest attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25:  Bill Russell #6 of the Boston Celtics takes the shot during an NBA game against the New York Knicks on October 25, 1958 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.  (Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Bill Russell #6 of the Boston Celtics takes the shot during an NBA game against the New York Knicks on October 25, 1958 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant greet after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant greet after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - February 7: Bill Russell speaks with the media during the NBA at 50 Event on February 7, 1997 as a part of NBA All-Star Weekend 1997 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - February 7: Bill Russell speaks with the media during the NBA at 50 Event on February 7, 1997 as a part of NBA All-Star Weekend 1997 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1997 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 20:  Head coach Julius Erving of the Tri-State (L) sits next to Bill Russell while attending week nine of the BIG3 three-on-three basketball league at KeyArena on August 20, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/BIG3/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 20: Head coach Julius Erving of the Tri-State (L) sits next to Bill Russell while attending week nine of the BIG3 three-on-three basketball league at KeyArena on August 20, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Christian Petersen/BIG3/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Billie Jean King and Bill Russell with members of the United States Women's National Soccer Team, winners of the Best Team award, pose during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Billie Jean King and Bill Russell with members of the United States Women's National Soccer Team, winners of the Best Team award, pose during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 17: Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speak during Haier Shooting Stars at NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 17: Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speak during Haier Shooting Stars at NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - 1964: Bill Russell #6 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against the New York Knicks circa 1964 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1964 NBAE (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - 1964: Bill Russell #6 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against the New York Knicks circa 1964 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1964 NBAE (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 6: David Stern, and Bill Russell talk to each other during the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 6, 2019 at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 6: David Stern, and Bill Russell talk to each other during the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 6, 2019 at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Julius Erving escorts Bill Russell on stage during the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 11, 2021 at MassMutual in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Julius Erving escorts Bill Russell on stage during the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 11, 2021 at MassMutual in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
UNCASVILLE, CT - SEPTEMBER 10: Bill Russell and his wife, Jeannine Russell pose for a portrait during the Class of 2021 Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala as part of the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 10, 2021 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
UNCASVILLE, CT - SEPTEMBER 10: Bill Russell and his wife, Jeannine Russell pose for a portrait during the Class of 2021 Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala as part of the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 10, 2021 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: NBA legend Bill Russell and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors shake hands after Game Six of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: NBA legend Bill Russell and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors shake hands after Game Six of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 17: NBA legends George Gervin, Julius Erving, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and Bill Russell are honored during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on February 17, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 17: NBA legends George Gervin, Julius Erving, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and Bill Russell are honored during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on February 17, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 22: (l-r) Rose Swisher and Bill Russell, ride in a victory parade celebrating the University of San Francisco's national basketball championship in San Francisco, CA., on March 22, 1955. USF defeated LaSalle 77-63 in the championship game on March 19, 1955. (Bob Campbell/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 22: (l-r) Rose Swisher and Bill Russell, ride in a victory parade celebrating the University of San Francisco's national basketball championship in San Francisco, CA., on March 22, 1955. USF defeated LaSalle 77-63 in the championship game on March 19, 1955. (Bob Campbell/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 19: NBA legend, Bill Russell attends a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics on November 19, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 19: NBA legend, Bill Russell attends a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics on November 19, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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