The NBA announced today that the late Bill Russell’s jersey number 6 will be retired throughout the league. Russell joins legends Jackie Robinson and Wayne Gretzky on the elite list. The three players are the only ones to have their jersey numbers retired throughout the league through various sports. Not taking anything away from their achievements in the league, there is one player that hasn’t had the same honor as them; Michael Jordan.
The life and legacy of 11-time NBA champion and civil rights pioneer Bill Russell will be honored by retiring his uniform number, 6, throughout the league. The iconic Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer will be the first player to have his number retired across the NBA. pic.twitter.com/OSVx02bQDl
— NBA (@NBA) August 11, 2022
As I mentioned, let’s not take anything from what the legends achieved. But Air Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time. We all know the impact he has had throughout his career. MJ wears 6 NBA Championship rings and 5 MVPs and 6 Finals MVPs. The accolades surely help the former Chicago Bulls star be in the conversation.
Michael Jordan is the most successful NBA player of all time. He may not have the most titles won like Russell(11), but if we’re being honest, the competition that Jordan faced during his time was tougher. Adding on, Jordan’s success does not only come from the rings he won with the Bulls.
Does Michael Jordan deserve to have his jersey retired throughout the league?
Fans loved His Airness because of his mentality and his ability to keep on winning. Moreover, he never left the Bulls when they were struggling. Jordan helped bring the team back on its feet winning championships again. If we’re looking at another example of Jordan’s greatness, it would be his short-lived baseball career.
— NBA France (@NBAFRANCE) March 5, 2021
The American came back to the NBA after 17 months in 1995. In the 95′-96 season, the Bulls famously won the title again. And they did not stop there. Jordan led them to another three-peat. If we think about it, he has won the league three times in a row twice. Which other place would be able to say that?
Let’s think about whether Jordan deserves the elite status. Russell, Robinson, and Gretzky, all three of them had an influential time off the court as they did on it. Yes, we know how Jordan has truly brought the sport to the greatest heights but what the former players did is totally different.
Robinson won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984, like Russell. The former Celtics star took home the medal in 2011. The medal is awarded to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to society regarding national issues. Although Gretzky did not have the honor in Canada, he was still an individual who advocated for the same.
Jordan may have not had similar actions as the other three legendary athletes, but his legacy should surely not be questioned. The former Wizards player has been the GOAT for many years and only LeBron James has come close to passing him. Considering the love he has brought to the NBA, Jordan deserves to have his jersey retired across the league, which will bring his legacy to a whole new level.