Get breaking Lakers News direct to your inbox.
LeBron James Shouts Out Manti Te’o After Watching Netflix Documentary
The NBA was shaken to its core when it was announced that Bill Russell had passed away at 88.
Russell was one of the game’s most dominant forces, where he won 11 titles as a player and two more as a head coach with the Boston Celtics. The legendary center is the embodiment of winning, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the right call in retiring his No. 6 throughout the league.
“Bill was a very special individual and what he did for basketball, no one else could ever do again,” Erving said.
“I don’t think he should be compared with the Russell situation. 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 champions, multiple on-and-off the court [activities of a] champion, or whatever – there’s no comparison.
“I wouldn’t even try to compare Kobe Bryant to Russell.”
Erving meant no disrespect to Bryant and clarified that he believes the jersey retirements are more appropriate at the Lakers level rather than the NBA level:
“It’s more of a franchise situation with the Lakers,” Erving said. “If they wanted to do it, which I think they already have, that makes sense – but for the whole league to do it, probably not.”
Russell and Bryant were both stewards of the game of basketball, and their impact can not be understated. However, Erving does have a point that Russell helped build the league into what it is today, while Bryant’s time in Los Angeles is one of the greatest single-team careers in all of sports.
Both legends being gone is a blow for basketball fans worldwide, but it’s important to continue honoring their legacies.
Although the NBA is retiring Russell’s No. 6, players already wearing the number will still be allowed to keep it going forward. During the 2021-22 season, 25 players wore No. 6, with notable players like LeBron James and Alex Caruso.
Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum Provide the One-Two Punch for the Lakers
Vanessa Bryant Shares Heartfelt Message On Kobe Bryant’s Birthday
Lakers Likely to Re-Sign Jordan Hill; Not Ramon Sessions?
NBA Rumors: League Considering Piping In Crowd Noise from NBA 2K
Lakers Rumors: Celtics Considering Signing Carmelo Anthony After Injury To Danilo Gallinari
Lakers News: Cam Reddish Refutes Report He Has Requested Trade From Knicks
Lakers News: LeBron James Looking To Play With Youngest Son Bryce In NBA?
Jeanie Buss Clarifies Comments About Russell Westbrook Being Lakers’ Best Player In 2021-22