Tuesday, September 27, 2022

NBA retires Bill Russell’s number: Who will be the last player to wear No. 6?

NBA retires Bill Russell's number: Who will be the last player to wear No. 6?

From Dr. J to Quentin Grimes, here’s a look at who last wore the number for every team

US PRESSWIRE Sports Archive
Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sport

In honor of the legendary Bill Russell, the NBA retired his number league-wide on Thursday. Nobody will wear No. 6 for the Orlando Magic or Sacramento Kings again.

Actually, even before this news, nobody was going to wear No. 6 for the Magic or Kings. Both franchises retired it for “the sixth man,” i.e. their fans. This is the kind of thing you learn when you’re researching who last wore the number for every team and who might be the last to wear it in the entire league.

Players wearing No. 6 going into next season “will be grandfathered,” the NBA announced in a press release, but the number “will not be issued again by any NBA team to any player.” Here are the players who most recently wore No. 6 for every team in the league:

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So, who might be the last player to wear No. 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 Aug. 14, 2002)
  • Jaylin Williams (born June 29, 2002)

  • Keon Johnson: 20 (March 10, 2002)

  • Kenyon Martin Jr (Jan. 6, 2001)

  • Quentin Grimes (May 8, 2000)

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

It is possible that the last player to wear No. 6 in the NBA will not be in the above group, but those are the ones who will be 22 or younger when training camp begins in September. If you’re trying to make an educated guess, that’s a good place to start. 

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