KARACHI: Bill Russell, an 11-time champion, will be remembered by the NBA by having his jersey number 6 retired throughout the league.
Russell, a former Boston Celtics player, passed away at age 88 last month.
LeBron James and other current players who wear six will be able to keep using the number, but new players will not be given it.
Centre Throughout a 13-year tenure with the Celtics, Russell amassed a record 11 NBA championships and five NBA Most Valuable Player trophies.
As the first black head coach in the league and a leader in equal rights, he also led the USA to Olympic gold in 1956.
"Bill Russell's unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserves to be honored uniquely and historically," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
"Permanently retiring his number six across every NBA team ensures that Bill's transcendent career will always be recognised."
In the NBA, Russell is the first player whose jersey number has been retired. His digits had already been retired by the Celtics.
The 2022–23 NBA season will also honour Russell by having players wear a memorial patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys.
On the sideline next to the scorer's table, each NBA floor will also have a clover-shaped logo with the number six on it.
Russell was first inducted as a player into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, and then again as a coach in 2021.