Bill Russell knows a thing or two about the Lakers-Celtics rivalry. He dominated in it to the tune of a 6-0 record against Los Angeles in the NBA Finals as a player.
Still, Russell paid respect to the ultimate Laker competitor, Kobe Bryant, before today's Boston-LA matchup. There's no love lost between these two storied franchises or their fan bases, but both sides' loyalists can get behind Russell's fashion statement this afternoon.
The legendary big man is wearing a white Kobe jersey as he prepares to watch his old team face the Lakers at Staples Center (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). The jersey features Bryant's iconic No. 24, which of course he switched to after starting out his career wearing No. 8.
Here's a photo snapped by ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin. It looks like Russell's hat is also paying tribute to the "Black Mamba."
Tip of the cap to Russell for this gesture. Lakers fans will definitely appreciate it.
Even with his homage to Kobe, we'd guess Bill is still rooting for the Celtics today. This is a big test for Boston, which is trying to prove it is a legitimate title contender.
The Celtics are 39-16 and boast the fourth-best record in the NBA. Right now, they're the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.