Celtics legend Bill Russell wears Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant


LOS ANGELES -- Bill Russell is among those whose play for years played a prominent role in the building of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry that is very much alive and well today with both teams among the top four squads record-wise in the NBA. 

But at this time, when the world continues to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, Russell - like many Celtics fans - have put their disdain for the Lakers on pause for now. 

And in a clear and undeniable move on Russell’s part to show this, he donned a Lakers jersey No. 24 - the number worn by Bryant - while attending Sunday’s Celtics-Lakers game at the Staples Center. 

While the gesture may not seem that big a deal, for anyone who has followed this Celtics-Lakers rivalry at any point during its existence, you would understand how Russell wearing the jersey of a Lakers player, was huge.


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When it comes to championships, Boston (17) and the Lakers (16) rank number one and two among all teams in the NBA.

On the Lakers roster now, you have a couple of former Celtics in Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo, with Rondo having won a title with Boston in 2008. 

For Boston, there’s Jayson Tatum who has emerged as an All-Star this season in part because of the lessons he learned from his mentor, Kobe Bryant. 

And let’s not forget the Anthony Davis saga, a player that the Celtics were highly motivated to make a trade for if not for the fact that Davis and his camp repeatedly told anyone within earshot (or a camera or a microphone or a notebook or …) that he wanted no part of being a Boston Celtic.

But none of that mattered now, not with the loss of Bryant being such a unifying factor that could bring even most hated rivals to put that to the side for the moment; yes, even the Celtics and the Lakers. 

And no better example of this was there than 86-year-old Bill Russell who continues to be a trailblazer in a rivalry that’s intensity, always high, is put on pause for the moment in honor of Bryant.