NBA

Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant enjoys special moment in Boston Celtics swansong

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Kobe Bryant played what was his final game at Boston's TD Garden on Wednesday night, and it proved something of a unique experience for the Los Angeles Lakers veteran.

After being on the receiving end of plenty of taunts and boos through the years when coming up against the Celtics, Bryant actually received cheers and applause in his swansong at the famous venue.

Respect

And, speaking in the aftermath of what was a 112-104 win for the Lakers, the Black Mamba had his own praise for the team that has helped define his NBA career.

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"It's been amazing to have been able to play here, and have a rivalry with this franchise," Bryant said as he completed the latest phase of his farewell tour.

"To have this kind of reception means so much to me...(Losing the 2008 Finals to Boston) was a turning point in my career. Losing in '08 changed how I approached the game and changed how I approached leadership.

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"They really help bring out the best version of myself."

Final time

The Lakers and Celtics are two of the most storied franchises in NBA history, and Kobe has played his part in the modern chapter of their rivalry.

Last night's win wasn't anywhere near the importance of the '08 or 2010 Finals series games, yet it will still live long in the memory for all who had a ticket at TD Garden.

And, whilst Bryant still has dozens of road games left before he bows out of the league, there are unlikely to be many which resonate as strongly as taking to the Boston hardwood for the final time.

NBA fans: Where does Kobe rank amongst the all-time greats of the NBA? Have your say in the comments below...

Topics:
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kobe Bryant

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