Following the passing of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, the most winningest NBA player of all-time and iconic Civil Rights activist, the NBA instilled a league-wide retirement of No. 6 in his honor.
Fellow NBA legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Julius Erving spoke with a TMZ Sports reporter Sunday at LAX in Los Angeles — offering his view on a proposal, instilling the same league-wide number retirement for the late Kobe Bryant.
“I don’t think he (Bryant) should be compared with the Russell situation,” Erving told TMZ Sports. “We’re fresh into that but let’s see how that works out. Maybe at some point in time. Bill was 86 years old, so address it like that to an 86-year-old — multiple champions, multiple coaching championships, multiple on-and-off the court champion, or whatever — there’s no comparison.
“I wouldn’t even try to compare Kobe Bryant to Russell.”
Erving is correct in his one-of-a-kind praise of the ex-Celtic. Russell’s No. 6 being retired league-wide is the first the NBA has ever seen and for good reason. Russell spent 13 seasons in his prolific basketball career, gathering a plethora of accolades within his NBA resume. Off the court, Russell served as a trailblazer in the Civil Rights Movement, advocating for racial equality — presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by ex-United States President Barack Obama in 2011.