Bill Russell: Being criticized by Trump is the 'biggest compliment you can get'
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NBA legend Bill Russell praised LeBron James and CNN host Don Lemon after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE attacked the two men, saying they “must be doing something right.”

Russell also cited Reps. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPrivate insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms MORE (D-Calif.) and John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Bill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word Biden eulogizes Dingell: 'Dignity was how John walked. Dignity was how John talked' MORE (D-Ga.), as well as NFL players attacked by Trump, saying that at “this time & place for any African American …to be criticised by @realdonaldtrump means you must be doing something right!”

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“As I have said before- Its the biggest compliment you can get,” he added. 

The former Celtics star and coach has previously shared images of him kneeling while wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in solidarity with athletes who kneel during the national anthem. Russell was the first African-American to coach a major professional sports team.

Trump has attacked players who kneel during the anthem to protest racial injustice.

Trump targeted James and Lemon in a tweet late Friday, writing that James "was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon" who "made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do."

Others have come forward to defend James, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who praised James for "doing an amazing job for his community."

Lemon interviewed James earlier this week about the former Cleveland Cavaliers star's new "I Promise" school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The NBA player was critical of Trump during the interview, saying that the president was trying to use sports to "divide" the country.