With the Los Angeles Lakers visiting the Boston Celtics tonight, you might have thought it’d be a brief respite from the Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour. After all, the Celtics-Lakers rivalry is the biggest in the sport, and the last time these two teams faced off with something on the line—the 2010 NBA Finals—Bryant’s Lakers beat the Celtics. There is no fanbase more hostile to Kobe this side of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Not all Celtics fans hate Kobe, but none of them like him. Instead of a sustained hatefest, however, there was a strange combination of loving and loathing that didn’t seem quite appropriate for this rivalry.
Before the game, the Celtics presented Kobe with a piece of the famous Boston parquet floor: