Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

  • As the NBA gets ready to begin its first season since the passing of legend Bill Russell, numerous league-wide tributes are planned. However the Celtics – the team Russell played for for 13 years – will have some additional tributes in place.

    The Celtics’ biggest tribute will also be the most visible. Russell’s No. 6 has been added to the paint area on both ends of the floor. According to the team, it’s “the first time numerical text will be displayed within that area on an NBA court.”

  • Bill Russell's No. 6 added to the painted area of the Celtics' court at TD Garden. (Courtesy of the Boston Celtics)

    Bill Russell’s No. 6 added to the painted area of the Celtics’ court at TD Garden. (Courtesy of the Boston Celtics)

  • The paint won’t be the only spot where Russell’s number appears on the floor. Teams league-wide will have a clover with a No. 6 in it in front of the scorers table.

    Russell, who passed away in late July at the age of 88, is an 11-time NBA champion, 12-time All-Star, and five-time MVP. Later in his career, he was named a player-coach of the Celtics, making him the first Black head coach in American professional sports, and the first to win a championship when the team did so in 1968, his second season on the job (they’d win again the next year as well).

    Russell was also incredibly influential in fighting for civil rights. In 2010, Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifelong commitment to the fight for social justice.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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