How the Boston Celtics will honor Bill Russell in a unique way

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics announced Monday that they will be honoring the late Bill Russell all season with a new design on the parquet floor. Russell passed away on July 31 of this year at the age of 88.

The NBA announced earlier this summer that his #6 would be retired leaguewide, with no new players being able to select the jersey number. Players already wearing six will be able to keep the number.

The league also said that every team will have a shamrock logo with Russell’s six inside on their court floors this season. In Boston, the Celtics will take things a step further to honor their legendary center. Both ends of the floor will have a six inside of the paint as a nod to Russell.

The team released a statement about the tribute Monday, saying:

"“As a part of the tributes, the Celtics have unveiled a new home parquet court ahead of the 2022-23 season. The team has added the number 6 to both lanes to pay homage to Bill Russell’s dominant play in the paint, marking the first time numerical text will be displayed within that area on an NBA court."

Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics achievements

Bill Russell played 13 seasons for the Celtics, winning 11 titles for club during his tenure. The NBA Hall of Famer won five NBA MVP Awards and made 12 NBA All Star appearances. In 1967 Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics, becoming the first Black head coach in the NBA and the first to win a championship.

As much as the 11x champion is remembered for his dominance on the floor, his impact as a civil-rights activist had just as much of an impact. Russell marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom back in 1963. In 1967, he participated in the Cleveland Summit, supporting Muhammad Ali’s decision not to serve in the Vietnam War.

Russell truly defined greatness, not just as a basketball player, but as a human being.