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Heartwarming Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant moment from 2006 goes viral amid Celtics legend’s passing

Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Celtics

After 88 long and well-lived years, Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell has passed away. The NBA legend was one of the most respected elder statesmen in league history. His passion and charm endeared him to many people in the industry, who all have good things to say about him. The world truly lost a great human today.

Amid all the outpouring of support for the Celtics legend, a viral video featuring another deceased NBA great made the rounds on Twitter. Back in 2006, Kobe Bryant had a chat with Bill Russell during that year’s All-Star game. Russell, ever the supportive man, gave his flowers to Bryant, before giving him a beautiful compliment. (via ClutchPoints)

Kobe Bryant and Bill Russell have shared a mutual respect for each other for the longest time. Despite being all-time greats for the Lakers and Celtics, the two bonded over their love for basketball. It was clear that Bryant looked up to Russell’s competitiveness, and Russell saw himself in the Lakers legend.

Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing two years ago shook the NBA world in the same way Russell’s death did today. At the time, Bill Russell issued a statement about the late Lakers star, and continued to shout out Kobe whenever he could.

Bill Russell was the epitome of a perfect basketball player on and off the court. When he was playing, his competitive fire was unmatched by anyone. His 11 rings are a testament to how hard he’s worked to get to his level. Somehow, though, his work off the court was even greater, as he helped fight for the rights of his fellow Black athletes during the height of segregation in the United States.

There will never be another Bill Russell in this world. May he rest in power.