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NBA retiring Bill Russell's No. 6 league-wide

NBA retiring Bill Russell's No. 6 throughout the league
NBA retiring Bill Russell's No. 6 throughout the league 00:27

BOSTON -- The NBA is honoring the late Bill Russell by permanently retiring his No. 6 throughout the league. Russell is the first player to have his number retired across the NBA.

Russell wore the No. 6 throughout his Hall of Fame career with the Celtics, winning 11 NBA Championships over his 13 seasons in Boston. The Celtics and NBA legend passed away at the age of 88 on August 1.

"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 statement Thursday.  "Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill's transcendent career will always be recognized."

Players who currently wear No. 6 -- including Lakers star LeBron James -- will be grandfathered, but the digit will not be issued again by any NBA team. The Celtics retired Russell's jersey in 1972, taking its place in the Garden rafter alongside the 11 championship banners that he brought to Boston.

In addition, all NBA players will also wear a patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys this season. Every NBA court will display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 on the sideline as well. 

The Celtics will have a separate -- and unique -- recognition for Russell on their uniforms, which will be announced at a later date.

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