Celtics

Celtics legend Bill Russell wears Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant

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. 

This story shows just how excited Kemba Walker was to become a Celtic

This story shows just how excited Kemba Walker was to become a Celtic

Boston Celtics fans were ecstatic last summer to find out Kemba Walker would be their new starting point guard, and the feeling was mutual.

After Walker agreed to join the C's on a four-year, $141 million max deal, he couldn't help but tell the world. Walker's sister, Sharifa Nesbitt, described Kemba's excitement upon joining the Celtics in an excellent feature written by Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

When Walker and his sister returned to Charlotte on June 27, his decision had been all but made. A man at the airport asked if he was going to re-sign with the Hornets, and Walker told him that he was going to become a Celtic, breaking the news himself in a busy terminal.

'He was telling whoever would ask,” Sharifa said with a chuckle. 'He was just happy.'

It's been all smiles for Walker on the court during the 2019-20 season as well. The 29-year-old has quickly become the heart and soul of the C's and has drastically improved the team's chemistry after last year's tumultuous campaign.

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After what Walker went through with the Charlotte Hornets, it's no surprise he was so thrilled to join a perennial contender like Boston. Charlotte only had two winning seasons since drafting Walker in 2011.

Walker is averaging 20.0 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.1 rebounds through 50 games played this season, and he'll be a huge factor in the Celtics' success if and when the NBA season finally resumes.

You can read Himmelsbach's full feature on Walker here.

Celtics' Marcus Smart makes perfect comment about NBA's HORSE challenge

Celtics' Marcus Smart makes perfect comment about NBA's HORSE challenge

We'll finally get to see some basketball action -- sort of -- when NBA's "HORSE Challenge" begins Sunday night.

Unfortunately, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart won't be participating despite being a master trick-shot artist.  He did, however, chime in with an idea for a contest he'd love to be a part of.

"Let’s play H-O-R-S-E with defense and see how that works out ;)," he tweeted Thursday night.

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Sounds right up the potential Defensive Player of the Year's alley.

Although Smart won't get the chance to show off his trick-shot prowess, one former Celtic will. Paul Pierce is set to be one of the eight contestants in the competition.

Smart tested positive for the coronavirus last month, but he has since been cleared. The 26-year-old recently appeared on CNN to discuss the importance of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic and donated his plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.