MINNEAPOLIS You can count Minnesota superstar Kevin Love among the NBA players who have been influenced by Celtics great Bill Russell.
Although Love is just 23 years old, he and Russell have had numerous conversations that Love is quick to say have had a powerful impact on him.
"I definitely appreciate what he did back in the day," Love said. "I've seen some old school footage and have had a number of chances to talk with him; lengthy conversations."
All of those moments made quite the impression on Love.
But more than anything, Love appreciates Russell for what he did better than any NBA player - winning championships.
"As far as winning goes, the most respected player all-time has to be him with more rings than he has fingers," said Love, referring to Russell being part of 11 championship teams with the Celtics.
Love added, "Bill Russell is top-notch in my eyes."