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Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey is being retired across the NBA, a first for the league. The league and the National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday that the number worn by the 11-time champion, civil rights activist and person good enough to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach was being permanently retired by all 30 teams. Major League Baseball permanently retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the big league’s color barrier. And the NHL retired Wayne Gretzky’s No. 99 in honor of that sport’s all-time scoring leader. NBA players who currently wear No. 6 — including the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James — may continue doing so. But the number cannot be issued again.

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FILE - The 1969 game worn jersey of Boston Celtics' legend Bill Russell is displayed along with other memorabilia set to go up for auction, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Boston. Bill Russell’s No. 6 jersey is being retired across the NBA. The league and the National Basketball Players Association made the announcement Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, permanently retiring the number worn by the 11-time champion, civil rights activist and someone good enough to have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. He died on July 31 at the age of 88. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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The NCAA earned praise last year when it agreed to pay referees at its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments equally. The gesture only cost about $100,000, a tiny fraction of the roughly $900 million networks pay annually to broadcast March Madness. Now, as the NCAA examines various disparities across men’s and women’s sports, pressure is rising to also pay referees equally during the regular season. Two Division I conferences told The Associated Press they plan to equalize pay, and another is considering it. Others are resisting change, even though the impact on their budgets would be negligible.

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The Kremlin says it’s open to talking about a possible prisoner exchange involving American basketball star Brittney Griner but strongly warned Washington against publicizing the issue. A judge convicted the 31-year-old Griner Thursday of drug possession and smuggling, and sentenced her to nine years in prison. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke last week to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about a trade to free Griner, and the two of them were both in Cambodia for an Asian summit on Friday. Lavrov said Moscow was “ready to discuss” a prisoner swap but that U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir only could talk about a deal via confidential channels.

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FILE - Referee Dee Kantner works in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Tennessee and Vanderbilt Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. Kantner, a veteran referee of women’s games who works for multiple conferences, finds it frustrating to have to justify equal pay. “If I buy an airline ticket and tell them I’m doing a women’s basketball game they aren’t going to charge me less,” she said. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, FILE)

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FILE - At left, Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman smiles during a press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, June 27, 2019. At right, Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade smiles after the NCAA college basketball Atlantic 10 conference tournament championship game between Saint Joseph's and VCU at the Barclays Center in New York, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Both McGlade and Ackerman praised what the NCAA did last season by paying men’s and women’s basketball officials equally in the tournaments after a review showed many inequities between the two sports. However, both said the tournaments aren't the same as regular-season conference games. (AP Photo/File)

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FILE - South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley speaks with an official during the first half of a college basketball game against Creighton in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, March 27, 2022. Staley said referees on the men's side should be “stepping up” and advocating for equal pay for women's referees. “They don't do anything different," she said. “Why should our officials get paid less for taking the (expletive) we give them?" (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

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FILE - Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma gestures to his team as official Dee Kantner, left, watches play during the second half an NCAA college basketball game against Central Florida, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Storrs, Conn. As the NCAA examines various disparities across men’s and women’s sports, pressure is rising to pay referees equally throughout the regular season — and three top conferences told The Associated Press they plan to make changes. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

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FILE - Referee Dee Kantner gives Louisville coach Jeff Walz a technical foul during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Louisville won 85-68. Kantner, a veteran referee of women’s games who works for multiple conferences, finds it frustrating to have to justify equal pay. “If I buy an airline ticket and tell them I’m doing a women’s basketball game they aren’t going to charge me less,” she said. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)