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NBA Announces Decision On Bill Russell's Jersey Number

Legendary Boston Celtics star big man Bill Russell at the podium.

CAMBRIDGE, MA - OCTOBER 02: Former Boston Celtic and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell presents the 2013 W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to NBA Commissioner David Stern at a ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on October 2, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

After Bill Russell passed away last month, there was a push for the NBA to retire his jersey number league-wide.

The NBA heard those calls, and this afternoon, announced that Russell's iconic No. 6 will be hung in the rafters by every team. 

Russell is the first player to ever have his number retired across the league.

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

Similarly to what MLB did when it retired No. 42 league-wide for Jackie Robinson, NBA players who currently wear No. 6 will be allowed to continue doing so.

In addition to honoring Russell by retiring his number, the NBA will also have every player wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys, and there will be a clover with the No. 6 in it on every NBA court this coming season.

Russell, who won a record 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, including two as a player-coach, passed away on July 31 at 88 years old.