This season, the Boston Celtics are honoring the life and legacy of Hall of Famer Bill Russell through a variety of celebrations, including tribute games, dedicated uniform, and an on-court commemoration.
Paying homage to a true champion and the Gold Standard of what it means to be a Celtic ☘ pic.twitter.com/ZUGRMWOfq8
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 17, 2022
The 2022-23 Boston Celtics City Edition uniform pays homage to Russell and features a gold motif symbolizing his incomparable career. Russell’s legacy spanned the “Golden Era” of Celtics basketball, an unmatched run of 11 championships in 13 years. However, it was the barriers that he broke not only on the court, as the first Black head coach and a member of the first all-Black starting five, but off the court that truly made him “The Gold Standard,” a consistent reminder of what it truly means to be a Celtic. Beginning with the season opener, the team will wear this year’s City Edition uniform – a project the league and team had been collaborating on with Russell himself in recent years – a total of 11 times to reflect with the 11 NBA Championship teams he was a part of. Uniform features include:
• The Celtics wordmark on the front of the jersey written in a script inspired by the historical Boston establishment, Slade’s Bar & Grill. Slade’s was famously owned by Bill Russell in the 1960s.
• Eleven gold diamond icons down both sides of the uniform, signifying the number of Celtics NBA championships Russell won. The diamonds are overlayed on black trim, which features the famed Celtics parquet floor pattern tonally.
• Russell’s retired #6 on the belt buckle of the short, surrounded by 11 gold diamonds, once again an homage to Russell having won the most NBA championships of any player in NBA history.
• 2022-23 Celtics City Edition Uniform photos can be found here.
The C’s will host the first of two dedicated Bill Russell tribute games celebrating the Celtics legend with a series of special activities on October 18 against longtime division rival Philadelphia 76ers. A pregame ceremony honoring Russell includes performances by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc and Boston’s Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. The team is also presenting the Bill Russell Mentoring Award to an individual in the New England area who has contributed to the mentoring field in significant ways. The Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) will perform at halftime. BCC was founded by Hubie Jones, a civic leader who for six decades has worked to address the social problems facing Boston’s underserved children and communities.
Additionally, the Celtics will raffle off authentic 2022-23 City Edition jerseys autographed by current members of the roster, with proceeds benefiting MENTOR. Russell was a founding board member of MENTOR, a non-profit that aims to drive equity and close the mentoring gap to ensure that one day, all young people have access to quality mentoring relationships.
As previously announced, the team has unveiled an updated home parquet court ahead of the 2022-23 season, including adding the number 6 to both lanes to pay homage to Bill Russell’s dominant play in the paint, marking the first time numerical text will be displayed within that area on an NBA court. 2022-23 Celtics Core Court photos can be found here.
The Celtics will host the second Bill Russell tribute night on February 12, his birthday, against the Memphis Grizzlies.