NBA retires Bill Russell’s number: Who will be the last player to wear number 6? – CBS Sports

NBA retires Bill Russell's number: Who will be the last player to wear number 6?  - CBS Sports

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In honor of the legendary Bill Russell, the NBA retired his number league-wide on Thursday. No one will wear #6 for the Orlando Magic or Sacramento Kings again.

Indeed, even before this news, no one will be wearing #6 for the Magic or Kings. Both franchises retired him for “the sixth man”, that is, his fans. This is the kind of thing you learn when you research who most recently wore the number for each team and who might be the last to wear it in the entire league.

Players wearing No. 6 entering next season “will be grandfathered,” the NBA announced in a press release. If any of these players change teams, they will be able to continue wearing No. 6, according to a league spokesperson.

This means that, for teams that haven’t already retired the number, it’s not strictly accurate to say that no one will wear it again. That being said, here are the players who most recently wore number 6 for each team in the league:

  • Atlanta Hawks: Lou Williams, 2021-22 — Williams, whose second stint with his hometown team — and first wearing No. 6 — began at the 2021 trade deadline, is a free agent.
  • Brooklyn Nets: David Duke Jr., 2021-present
  • Boston Celtics: Bill Russell, 1956-1969
  • Charlotte Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, 2019-present
  • Chicago Bulls: Alex Caruso, 2021-present
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Moses Brown, 2022
  • Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis, 2019-22
  • Denver Nuggets: DeAndre Jordan, 2022-present
  • Detroit Pistons: Hamidou Diallo, 2021-present
  • Golden State Warriors: Alen Smailagic, 2019-21
  • Houston Rockets: Kenyon Martin Jr., 2020-present
  • Indiana Pacers: Lance Stephenson, 2010-12; 2022 — Stephenson, whose third stint in Indiana began in January with a series of COVID hardship exceptions and 10-day contracts, is a free agent.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Moses Brown, 2022-present — Brown is the only player other than the next guy on this list to appear on it more than once.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James, 2021-present
  • Memphis Grizzlies: Kenneth Lofton Jr., 2022-present – Lofton, who signed a two-way contract with Memphis after going undrafted, wore No. 6 in promotional photos and wore the number in summer league. There is no number listed next to his name, however, on the Grizzlies’ official roster page. When asked by email if Lofton had been officially issued the number, the team did not immediately respond. (Also, the most recent Grizzly to wear No. 6 was Shaq Buchanan, who appeared in two games in late December last season on a 10-day contract.)
  • Miami Heat: LeBron James, 2010-2014
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Luca Vildoza, 2022-present
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves: Jordan McLaughlin, 2019-present
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Tyrone Wallace, 2022 — Had Wallace not signed two 10-day contracts with the Pelicans in March, Nickeil Alexander-Walker would represent two teams on this list.
  • New York Knicks: Quentin Grimes, 2021-present
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Jaylin Williams, 2022-present
  • Orlando Magic: Patrick Ewing, 2001-02 — Ewing, who spent his final NBA season with the Magic, is the only player to ever wear No. 6 for the team.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Julius Erving, 1976-1987
  • Phoenix Suns: Walter Davis, 1977-1988 — Davis is the only player to ever wear number 6 for the Suns.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Keon Johnson, 2022-present
  • San Antonio Spurs: Avery Johnson, 1992-1993; 1994-2001
  • Sacrament Kings: Bob Burrow, 1956-57 — When Burrow wore #6, the franchise was known as the Rochester Royals. The team moved to Cincinnati the next year, and, while it later played home games in Kansas City, Omaha and Sacramento, one thing remained consistent: No one wore #6.
  • Toronto Raptors: Cory Joseph, 2015-17
  • Utah Jazz: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 2022-present
  • Washington Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis, 2022-present

So, who could be the last player to wear #6 on an NBA court? Of the 16 players currently wearing it (including Lofton, excluding Lou Williams and Stephenson), five were born in the 2000s:

  • Kenneth Lofton Jr. (born August 14, 2002)
  • Jaylin Williams (born June 29, 2002)
  • Keon Johnson: 20 (March 10, 2002)
  • Kenyon Martin Jr (January 6, 2001)
  • Quentin Grimes (May 8, 2000)

Additionally, David Duke Jr. and Moses Brown share a birthday: October 13, 1999.

It’s possible the last player to wear No. 6 in the NBA won’t be in the group above, but those guys will all be 22 or younger when training camp starts in September and will be eligible to wear it for the duration. careers If you’re trying to make an educated guess, that’s a good place to start.

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