The NBA announced Thursday that it will honor the life of legendary Bill Russell by permanently retiring his league-wide No. 6.
Russell, 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer, died July 31. He was 88 years old.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on the league’s monumental decision.
“Bill Russell’s unprecedented success on the court and his pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” Silver said. “Permanently retiring his number 6 on all NBA teams ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
Unsurprisingly, NBA fans think retiring the league-wide No. 6 is the right move.
“Bill Russell had as much impact on the NBA off the court and the POC as his game on the court,” one fan tweeted. “He most certainly deserved it.”
“Wish this had happened a long time ago but all credit goes to the league for doing the right thing,” wrote another fan.
“Amazing gesture from the NBA,” said a third fan.
By making this gesture, the NBA is ensuring that Russell’s legacy will live on forever.
Going forward, the NBA team will no longer publish Russell’s jersey number. However, players who were already wearing No. 6 will be grandfathered.