NBA players who wore the No. 6 during the 2021-22 season


The National Basketball League and National Basketball Players Association on Thursday announced that the No. 6 worn by 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell would be permanently retired across the league to honor his life and legacy.

Players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys throughout the 2022-23 season to pay tribute to Russell, who passed away on July 31. Every team will also display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 to honor the Boston Celtics legend on the sidelines near the scorer's table.

The Celtics will have a unique recognition for Russell on their uniforms.

Players currently wearing the No. 6 will be permitted to continue doing so but the number will not be issued again by any team to any player. The league also confirmed that if any of those players change teams, they will be able to continue wearing the number.

With the No. 6 now retired, Rookie Wire took a look at those players that donned that number last season and could wear it again during the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

Note: Information via Basketball-Reference.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Utah Jazz


Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander-Walker has worn the No. 6 now with the New Orleans Pelicans and Jazz. He was drafted by the Pelicans 17th in 2019 and traded to the Jazz at the trade deadline in February.

Moses Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers


Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Brown suited up for the Dallas Mavericks and Cavaliers last season. He finished the year with Cleveland and signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Clippers last month.

Shaq Buchanan, Memphis Grizzlies


Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Buchanan logged two appearances with the Grizzlies after signing via the hardship exception. After the season, he played with Memphis during summer league.

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls


Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Zylan Cheatham, Utah Jazz


Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Cheatham played one game with the Jazz after signing via the hardship exception. He wore the No. 6 prior to the arrival of Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

Gabriel Deck, Oklahoma City Thunder


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Deck was with the Thunder during the past two seasons but was waived in January. He opted to return overseas and will play the 2022-23 season with Real Madrid in Spain.

Hamidou Diallo, Detroit Pistons


Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

David Duke Jr., Brooklyn Nets


Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Bryn Forbes, Minnesota Timberwolves


Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes wore the No. 6 last season with the Denver Nuggets. However, he signed with the Timberwolves over the offseason and will likely need to change numbers as Jordan McLaughlin currently wears No. 6.

Melvin Frazier Jr., Oklahoma City Thunder


Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Frazier played just three games with the Thunder and joined the team after it waived Gabriel Deck, who also wore No. 6. He is currently a free agent.

Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks


Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Montrezl Harrell, Washington Wizards


Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Harrell wore No. 6 with the Wizards last season but was eventually sent to the Charlotte Hornets at the trade deadline. He wore No. 8 with the Hornets.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers


Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

James has infamously alternated jersey numbers from 23 to 6 throughout his career. He started off his stint with the Lakers in No. 23 but changed last season to No. 6, which he last wore with the Miami Heat.

Keon Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers


Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson was drafted last year 21st by the Los Angeles Clippers but was traded at the deadline to Portland. He switched numbers from 45 to 6 upon joining the Trail Blazers.

KJ Martin, Houston Rockets


Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets


Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan McLaughlin, Minnesota Timberwolves


AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Kevin Pangos, Cleveland Cavaliers


Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Pangos began last season with the Cavaliers but was eventually waived in February. He will play the 2022-23 season with Olimpia Milano in Italy.

Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Porizingis has worn the No. 6 in each stop during his NBA career to this point and kept that tradition going when he was traded from Dallas to Washington at the deadline.

Javonte Smart, Milwaukee Bucks


Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Smart played 13 games with the Bucks before he joined the Miami Heat later in the season. He opted to go with No. 15 in Miami.

Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers


Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rayjon Tucker, Denver Nuggets


Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tucker had a brief run with the Nuggets and donned No. 6 for three games. He later joined the Milwaukee Bucks and picked No. 59 for his jersey number.

Luca Vildoza, Milwaukee Bucks

Vildoza debuted with the Bucks in the playoffs last season. He was waived in the offseason and re-signed to a non-guaranteed contract last month.

Tyrone Wallace, New Orleans Pelicans


Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Pelicans last season. He opted to play next season overseas and will be with Paris Basketball.

Lou Williams, Atlanta Hawks


Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports



Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire


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