On this day, nobody could blame Bill Russell for wearing a Lakers jersey.
The Celtics legend paid tribute to Kobe Bryant during Sunday’s Lakers-Celtics game in Los Angeles by wearing Bryant’s No. 24 jersey. Even though the Lakers are old rivals of Boston, Russell was compelled to honor Bryant a day before Staples Center is set to host a memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.
“@STAPLESCenter #Celtics vs Lakers I see everyone tweeting I am wearing @Lakers jersey. I would do anything to honor #KobeAndGianna,” the 86-year-old Russell wrote on Twitter. “I am always a @celtics We had a deeper connection 2+4 does = 6. We had much Love & respect for one another! @NBA #MambaForever #MambaMentality.”
The Lakers appreciated Russell’s tribute, sharing a photo of Russell wearing the jersey on Twitter with the caption, “Respect from the greatest of rivals. Thank you, GOAT.”
Monday’s memorial is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.