(KGPE) – The NBA announced on Thursday that it will be retiring No. 6 league-wide. That is in honor of Bill Russell, who died on July 31st at the age of 88.
Russell, an eleven-time NBA champion, wore No. 6 during a 13-year playing career with the Boston Celtics.
Several NBA players currently wear No. 6, including LeBron James. Those players will be allowed to continue to do that.
In NBA history, 260 players have worn No. 6, three of whom have a connection to the central valley: Tito Maddox, Chris Jefferies and Tyson Chandler.
Maddox, a former Fresno State Bulldog, was a second-round draft pick of the Houston Rockets in 2002. He played in nine games with Houston during the 2002-2003 season, wearing No. 6.
Chris Jefferies was also drafted in 2002. A first-round pick out of Fresno State, he was drafted by the Lakers but he played for the Raptors and the Bulls. It wasn’t until he joined the Bulls that he wore No. 6, in 19 games during the 2003-2004 season.
Tyson Chandler wore No. 6 beginning in the 2006-2007 season. Chandler played 19 seasons in the NBA, and he wore No. 6 for nine of those seasons (when he played for the Hornets, the Bobcats, the Mavericks and the Knicks).
Tyson Chandler grew up in southern California, but he was born in Hanford.