Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Wishes Bill Russell Happy Birthday
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Today marked the 80th birthday of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. Russell was a pioneer in the NBA, becoming the first African-American head coach in NBA history, and winning 11 championships with the Celtics.

Well after he has retired, Russell remains one of the most revered and respected athletes today, especially amongst the current NBA players. And Lakers legend Kobe Bryant took time to wish Russell a happy birthday on Twitter:

Russell is an inspiration and mentor for many of today’s athletes, and one of the greatest winners in sports. That is why the NBA Finals MVP trophy was named after him, something Bryant has won twice.

You can see how much Bryant really cares and admires Russell in his words dedicated to the legend:

Happy birthday Mr Russell. Thank you for all of your wisdom and the amount of time you have taken to mentor a young temperamental kid playing for your franchises nemesis. I am deeply appreciative #thankyou #happybday #rings #goat

Someone as entrenched in the Laker-Celtic rivalry as Bryant is normally unlikely to pay respect to a Celtic. But Russell is an exception to rules like that.
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