Alex Caruso will be one of the last players in NBA history to wear the No. 6.
Earlier this offseason, the NBA decided to recognize the late-Bill Russell by retiring his iconic jersey number. The No. 6 will now be the first league-wide jersey retirement in NBA history. As part of the announcement, however, the league did inform those players who currently sport the number that they are grandfathered. So while no new talent will ever be able to wear that look, Caruso can choose to keep it for the time being.
When asked about his plans at Media Day, Caruso did explain that he looked into changing his jersey to honor the league legend. But, when going through the process, the NBA apparently told him that he falls within the top jersey sales, which means he isn’t currently allowed to switch to a different number.
“I did give some thought to changing this year and the NBA told me I couldn’t because I was in the top-75 of jersey sales. So, that’s like a rule, which shoutout to me,” Caruso smiled.
“So, yeah, I looked into it. Obviously, I want to do nothing but honor him and his legacy and what he stood for because he’s one for the pioneers. A racial advocate for the game of basketball in general, and an all-around great person. I don’t know anyone who talks about him or knew him that has anything bad to say about him. Probably next year, I’ll look into getting another number.”
On one hand, that’s pretty freakin’ cool that Caruso’s jersey is among the league’s best-sellers. I guess it just goes to show the power of Bulls fans. Yet, on the other hand, this feels like a pretty odd move by the NBA. If the whole point of Caruso changing his number is to honor Russell’s legacy, turning him away isn’t necessarily the best look.
Regardless, Caruso seems prepared to sport the number in his honor and change it at the next available opportunity. And, when he does, he’ll be the last Bull to ever be seen in No. 6.
Check out Caruso’s full press conference from Media Day below: