Earlier this summer the NBA lost one of its all-time greats in Bill Russell, as the 11-time champion died at 88 years old. The league announced they would be retiring Russell’s number league-wide in August, with players already wearing No. 6 allowed to continue to do so, and many teams have put his number on their court this year in remembrance of the legend.
In Boston, where Russell won his 11 titles and led the Celtics to one of the all-time great runs in team sports, the team will honor their franchise’s best with a number of tributes, including a new set of City Edition uniforms inspired by Russell that they will wear in the season opener on Tuesday night against the 76ers.
The Celtics revealed their Bill Russell city edition jerseys today. They will honor the late Russell at tomorrow’s season opener with a Russell tribute game featuring performances throughout the night from artists like Aloe Blacc. pic.twitter.com/mmxN5C8Ep2
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) October 17, 2022
The script font is inspired by a restaurant Russell owned, Slade’s Bar & Grill, and features 11 gold diamonds on the side to represent his 11 championships, with the same 11 diamonds encircling his No. 6 on the belt.
• The script is inspired by Boston’s Slade’s Bar & Grill, which was owned by Russell
• 11 gold diamonds on the sides of the uniform, signifying the number of championships Russell won
• Russell’s retired #6 on the belt buckle of the shorts, surrounded by 11 gold diamonds pic.twitter.com/1K8AnhL2mG
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) October 17, 2022
They are extremely well done by the team and Nike, and immediately become one of the best alternate uniforms in the league. While Nike has missed on plenty of new uniforms since they started implementing the new editions for each team every year, these are a reminder that when there’s a real, specific inspiration for a uniform set they tend to be much better.