Saturday, August 6, 2022

Magic Johnson is asking the NBA to give special credit to Bill Russell

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Since Bill Russell’s death was announced, many have paid tribute to the Boston Celtics legend. That includes Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Following Russell’s death, Johnson has repeatedly expressed his appreciation for Russell’s influence on and off the pitch. On August 2, 2022, Johnson proposed to the NBA an idea for how they could pay tribute to Russell’s legacy.

Johnson suggested to NBA commissioner Adam Silver that the league should retire the league number six in Russell’s honor.

This would mean that LeBron James, who currently plays for the Lakers, would have to change his number to a different one among the other players in the league who would have to do the same.

Many agreed with Johnson’s proposal because they also agreed that Russell’s legacy was so important both inside and outside the NBA.

Chris Mannix quoted Magic’s tweet as referring to an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated in which he expressed a similar opinion.

There was no unanimous support for Johnson’s proposal, but there was more than enough support to demonstrate the kind of impact Russell left behind. Johnson also recently opened up about his relationship with Russell after his death.

Johnson continued to praise Russell for his humility as a person, despite all the success he’s had. He also praised Russell’s intelligence and how hard he fought for civil rights.

“For all his achievements, he was so humble, a gentle giant, a very intelligent man, and used his voice and platform to fight for black people. He has mentored me and given advice since the day we met.”

It didn’t stop there. Johnson also detailed his personal relationship with Russell and shared what he will never forget about Russell on a personal level.

“Later in life, he never missed an opportunity to tell me how proud he was of me doing for Black America across the country. I will forever remember his cackling laugh, sense of humor and love of basketball.”

Though he played for the one team Russell feuded with during his playing days, it’s clear that Johnson and Russell’s relationship extended beyond the game of basketball.

However, it wasn’t just Johnson’s relationship with Russell that he cherished. He also looked up to Russell for his performances.

Johnson made it known how much he looked up to Russell for his career achievements and paved the way for the likes of Johnson.

“Bill Russell was my idol. I looked up and down the square at him. His success on the pitch was undeniable; He was (dominant) and awesome and won 11 NBA championships. Off the court, Bill Russell paved the way for people like me.”

Johnson also noted that he idolized Russell in part because Russell inspired him to do more for the African American community, using his platform to do just that both during and after his playing days.

“He was one of the first frontline athletes fighting for social justice, justice, equality and civil rights. That’s why I admired and loved him so much. Throughout our friendship, he has always reminded me to make things better in the black community.”

Russell clearly meant the world to Johnson, and he wanted the world to know how much he meant to him, as did many other NBA legends.

“He was one of the first frontline athletes fighting for social justice, justice, equality and civil rights. That’s why I admired and loved him so much. Throughout our friendship, he has always reminded me to make things better in the black community.”

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