The NBA’s best and most heated rivalry renews itself this evening as the Los Angeles Lakers are in Boston to take on the Celtics. While it is the latest installment in the age-old rivalry, it will be the final chapter surrounded by Kobe Bryant, as this will be his last trip to the TD Garden.
Bryant has insisted that other teams do not present him with gifts on the court as he embarks on this farewell tour. He wants the focus to remain on basketball and avoid any distractions from the game itself, at least as much as possible. Ironically enough, the Celtics did not present Kobe with a going away gift on the court, but instead they gave him a piece of theirs.
Many Celtics fans may not take too kindly to the team honoring Bryant with a major piece of their history, and Lakers fans might find the feeling a bit odd as well. But ultimately, this was a fantastic and unexpected gesture from the Celtics organization.
While the two franchises hate each other on the court, this gesture is indicative of their respect for each other off of it.