On Thursday, August 11, 2022, the NBA, through its commissioner, announced the retirement of jersey No. 6 across the league. Adam Silver made the announcement in a bit lengthy statement shared via the league’s social media handles.
The reason behind the decision to retire the No. 6 jersey is to honor the legacies and achievements of Bill Russell, who died on July 31, 2022, at the age of 88. The decision was made even though there are NBA players who currently wear the No. 6 jersey.
“Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way,” Adam Silver’s statement announcing the retirement of the jersey reads in part.
“Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized,” the statement continued.
The NBA’s decision has been welcomed by many NBA veterans, fans and players in the sport’s community.
Meanwhile, as of the time of writing this article, there are 14 NBA players who wear No. 6 in their respective teams.
Notable among those players is LeBron James, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James, 37, is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the league currently. For the 19 years he has been playing; James has won 4 championships, 4 Finals MVP awards, 4 MVP awards, and many other major NBA-recognized awards.
Other players wearing the number include: Houston Rockets’ Kenyon Martin Jr., Nets’ David Duke Jr., New York Knicks’ Quentin Grimes, Detroit Pistons’ Hamidou Diallo, Charlotte Hornets’ Jalen McDaniels, Keon Johnson of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Utah Jazz’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who are all below 25.
The rest are: Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls, Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers and Lou Williams of the Atlanta Hawks. Montrezl Harrell also wears the 6 jersey for the Hornets, as well as Kristaps Porzingis and Jordan McLaughlin, who wear the numbers for the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves respectively.
However, in Thursday’s announcement, the NBA indicated that all NBA players who wear the No. 6 jersey will continue to use them. But they were quick to add that going forward, the jerseys will not be issued by any team to any player.
Source: NBA Republic