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The trade that could've changed Lakers history forever

By James Brown

The trade that could've changed Lakers history forever

According to Celtics legend Bill Russell, the Lakers tried to make him play with the team.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best teams in NBA history. If the Boston Celtics didn't exist, the Purple and Gold would definitely be the team with the most championships. However, unfortunately for the Lakers, the Celtics are their biggest rivals, especially the late great Bill Russell . If it wasn't for the Hall of Famer, Russell, the Lakers would've had 25 championships by now.

Bill Russell might have been the biggest rival the Lakers have ever faced. The former player took at least eight championships away from the Lakers. Still, his talent was undeniable. Jerry Buss knew that Bill Russell was a ‘once in a generation’ player. That's why he tried to recruit the former Celtics player after his retirement in 1969.

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“They had a ceremony for Jerry West,” Russell told Bill Simmons. “They had me sitting next to Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the team at the time. About a week later, I get a call. Jack Kent Cooke wanted to talk to me. So, he says, ‘Bill, I’ve been thinking about it. What we’re gonna do is have you come out of retirement and play for the Lakers.'”

The Hall of Famer explained that he would never play against any other team that wasn't the Celtics. “So I says, ‘Don’t you have a guy named Wilt Chamberlain playing center for you?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘How’d he feel playing back-up center?’ … I said, ‘Jack, I’ll never play basketball again, but, if I were, it would only be for the Celtics.'”

Bill Russell record vs the Lakers

Bill Russell has been the biggest rival in Lakers history. The rivalry began when the Lakers were still in Minneapolis as he defeated the team in the 58-59 season, then he would defeat the Lakers both as a player and as a coach on seven more occasions.  

 

 


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