Celtics paint court to honor Bill Russell

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics painted Bill Russell’s No. 6 on the free-throw line on the court as part of their planned tribute to the former Hall of Fame player who died this summer.

“The team added the number 6 on both lines to honor Bill Russell’s dominant play in the paint,” the Celtics said Monday.

The team said it will honor Russell in other ways this season, including two nights in his honor — one in the season opener on Oct. 18 and another on Feb. 12, which would be his 89th birthday. The Celtics will also wear a commemorative jersey of the former player in some matches. They will also implement something on the shirt to honor him.

The NBA announced that all teams in the league will retire the number 6 in honor of the basketball player, a pioneer of civil rights and won 11 NBA champions, who died on July 31. All the courts displayed the number 6 on the sideline near the scoring table.