Bill Russell has a soft spot for Kobe

It appears that the best teammate ever has a soft spot for the worst teammate ever.

In a recent article by Bill Simmons on Grantland, Simmons talks about a visit he had with Bill Russell. The point of the article is to show how different Kobe's leadership style (do what I say or I break you) is from Russell's (I'll do everything I can to make you better).

The Russell stuff is only in the first few paragraphs of the article. Among other reasons, apparently Russell loves Kobe because the Black Mamba took an idea from Russell's book about scouting your teammates to find their strengths and weaknesses.

Russell enjoys his competitiveness, loves his work ethic, appreciates his respect for history, and over anything else, loves how he borrowed that scouting idea. No other player ever mentioned it to him. Just Kobe.

The article goes on to talk about how Russell said he never criticized a teammate, which makes this little love fest even more bizarro world. Kobe is infamous for calling out everyone and everyone, in private or public. The worst of it may be happening this year with Kobe calling out Gasol publicly and reportedly already getting on Howard's case about effort.