Magic Johnson wants Bill Russel’s number 6 retired in the NBA
A few days after the death of Bill Russell, the reactions continue to multiply. Different faces of the NBA and even elsewhere take the floor to pay tribute to a true legend of the Great League, on the floors but also outside. Very active on social networks, Magic Johnson also went from his idea to honor the myth. In a tweet addressed to Adam Silver, the former Lakers point guard invites the commission to retire the number 6 in the whole League.
There is no shortage of words when discussing the career of Bill Russell. Ultimate symbol of winning, fervent defender of fundamental rights and exceptional player above all, Bill will have finally devoted his life to others. Precursor of defense on the floor as in life, the legendary pivot leaves behind him an immense legacy, like the gentleman. The most successful player in the history of the Great League with eleven rings won, The Good Lord is an integral part of what the NBA is all about. If his death is so impacting today, it is because the man weighs heavy, very heavy even. Leader of a sports dynasty unrivaled throughout the League, Bill Russell is also one of the first voices in sport to speak out against racial segregation in the United States. The interior is also part of the very closed circle of athletes who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil decoration in the country of Uncle Sam. So to speak, only a few athletes, including Kareem-Abdul Jabbar or Michael Jordan, have been decorated with it. That puts you right away a man. If Bill Russell is no more, his legacy however, continues to endure, in particular through celebrations set up by the NBA to honor the legendary pivot of the Celtics.
Commissioner Adam Silver should retire number 6 across the @NBA in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy!
—Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 2, 2022
Among the most prestigious trophies in the NBA, that of MVP of the NBA Finals, or Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, takes its name from the legend. At the same time, it is difficult to associate this distinction with a name other than that of Bill Russell, as the latter would probably have won it many times if he existed in his time. In addition to this already very prestigious tribute, Magic Johnson challenged Adam Silver yesterday on Twitter, to offer him to remove the number 6 in all franchises. While Bill’s jersey already sits atop the TD Garden, the idea here would be for the home number 6 to never be worn in the Big League again, in tribute to Russ’ career and life. The proposal is unique, since no player has experienced this privilege in the NBA. Even stronger, in the entire history of American sport, only Jackie Robinson in MLB (baseball) and Wayne Gretzky in the NHL (ice hockey) have seen their jerseys retired by all franchises. If the gesture is at first sight magnificent, the operation is actually a little more complex than that since a good number of players, including a certain LeBron James, currently wear this number in the NBA. The King has also repeated several times to be attached to it, for family reasons in particular. So far Adam Silver hasn’t responded to Magic’s proposal. No doubt the commission has taken note of his request, and will decide on it shortly. Case to follow.
While waiting to find out if the NBA will accede to Magic’s request, it is clear that Bill Russell deserves a tribute worthy of his legend. Champions among champions, the pivot will have marked the history of the League on, but also outside the courts. Removing his number therefore seems a perfect way to honor the gentleman. Wait and see!
Text source: Yahoo! Sports / Bleacher Report