Kobe Bryant has made countless memories not only in Los Angeles at the STAPLES Center, but in opposing arenas around the NBA.
Naturally, every time he makes a final trip to an opposing team’s home stadium, fans will reminisce on all the memories that the Lakers legend gave them throughout his legendary, future Hall of Fame 20-year career.
Tonight, Bryant makes his final trip to Boston to take on the Celtics in the latest installment of the NBA’s greatest rivalry. Before the game, members of the Celtics’ front office presented Kobe with a piece of their history, in a gesture that was unexpected and a first-class move.
On the court, however, things won’t be so friendly, as they never have. In honor of Bryant making his last appearance in Boston, we take a look back at some of his best moments playing at the TD Garden.
3.) Game 5, 2010 NBA Finals: Third quarter explosion
The Lakers lost this game, but it was one of the signature moments of what was an incredible NBA Finals series. With his team struggling in a pivotal Game 5, Bryant took matters into his own hands, like we have seen him do so many times in his career. Kobe erupted with a 17-point outburst in a six-minute span against what was a stellar defensive team. It was one of so many marvelous scoring performances that Bryant has exhibited throughout his career, but the stage this one was on with the surrounding circumstances made this that much more spectacular.
2.) 2007: Kobe gets “MVP” Chants in Boston
How good was Kobe in his prime? He received MVP chants in Boston. That alone should tell you how ridiculous he was. For an opposing player, the thought of that would be ludicrous for Celtics fans, let alone for a member of the purple and gold. Bryant led the Lakers to a 111-98 victory behind his 43 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. He shot 13-of-25 from the field, including seven-of-nine from deep, in a simply masterful performance.
1.) 2010: Kobe drills the game-winner over Ray Allen
Bryant hit six game-winning shots during the 2009-10 regular season, but this was probably the most meaningful to Lakers fans. The Lakers went into Boston in what ended up being a NBA Finals preview, where Los Angeles exacted their revenge for 2008 in a classic Game 7. Kobe put his clutch ability on full display, burying a tough, contested jumper over Ray Allen in the final seconds to give the Lakers the win.