The NBA retired its first quantity ever Thursday, and Invoice Russell’s No. 6 couldn’t be a better option — if it’s now not the one selection. A transcendent determine as a participant, as a trainer, and as a civil rights chief, Russell’s legacy takes dictionaries’ to outline. Of the 4 primary skilled sports activities in The us, most effective Jackie Robinson’s 42 and Wayne Gretzky’s 99 are the one different jerseys off limits to the league.
It doesn’t wonder someone that this took place, however it’s stunning (relying on who you might be) that it took this lengthy. I’m now not certain if the Twitter rumors/ideas that circulated after Russell’s passing on July 31 induced the transfer, or if an NBA announcement have been within the works, however the basic response gave the impression to be that it used to be logical and the best factor to do.
Are you able to cement anyone’s legacy if it’s already been etched within the annals of historical past? No matter you need to name it, Russell’s have an effect on at the sport is now immortalized, and taking into account what he stood for, how he stood for it, and who he stood with, what he did off the ground can’t be celebrated sufficient.
The abuse he took from his personal town is definitely documented, and a few have mentioned he used to be too excellent of a person to be saddled with Boston’s fanbase. With this transfer, his importance formally spreads to each and every nook of the NBA, from Boston to LA, as much as Portland, over Chicago, and right down to Miami.
Across the league, 14 players wear No. 6 — most notably, LeBron James — and they’ll grandfathered into the distinction of being the last to sport that number.
For now, fans can just be happy it happened. While it would’ve been nice if Russell was alive to see his jersey raised to every rafter, it’s sadly reflective of the way he’s somehow overlooked that this honor comes after his passing.
There was only one number the NBA could’ve ever retired, and it’s Russell’s No. 6.