The Boston Celtics honor the late Bill Russell with special City Edition jerseys


The Boston Celtics honor the ultimate icon of their legendary franchise for this year’s edition of their Nike City Edition jerseys.

Boston will wear kits that not only commemorate the late Bill Russell but were reportedly designed over a year ago with his input. Russell was the most successful player in NBA history and is also considered one of the greatest in the league with 11 championships and many other accolades. He died on July 31 at his home in Mercer Island, Washington, at the age of 88.

Russell also became a prominent figurehead among athletes during the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, and was one of the most prominent participants at the time of the 1967 Cleveland Summit with Muhammad Ali.

The legendary big man also became the first black head coach in NBA history after Celtics coach Red Auerbach chose Russell to succeed him in 1966. After Russell’s death, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver described Russell in a statement as “the greatest champion of all team sports.” and praised the way the Hall of Famers “protested vigorously for civil rights and social justice.”

Russell became an active figure in NBA circles in his later years, regularly attending games and marquee events and also forging relationships with the next generation of basketball greats.

After the 2009 NBA Finals MVP award was presented in Russell’s honor, the Celtic great was on hand at every pivotal finals game to personally present the award, beginning with 2009 honoree Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Russell later attended one of the first Lakers home games after Bryant’s death in January 2020, wearing a Bryant Lakers jersey.

Silver announced on August 12 that Russell’s NBA-wide No. 6 jersey would be retired, making Russell the first NBA player to receive the honor. Current NBA players who wear the number, such as the Lakers’ LeBron James, may continue to wear it, but the number will never be reassigned.

Russell’s No. 6 is the only three numbers league-wide eliminated in major North American professional sports, along with Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in Major League Baseball and Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 in the National Hockey League. In addition, every NBA jersey this season will have a commemorative #6 shoulder patch, and every NBA court will have a Celtics #6 clover logo near the scorer table.

The Celtics will wear the Russell-inspired City Edition jerseys in their season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

NBA, Celtics legend Bill Russell dies aged 88 | UNDISPUTED

NBA, Celtics legend Bill Russell dies aged 88 |  UNDISPUTED

Boston Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell died Sunday at the age of 88. Skip Bayless Reminisces on the Life and Legacy of Bill Russell.

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