BOSTON — It’s not often you hear Celtics fans chanting Kobe Bryant’s name. In fact, it’s pretty much never.
But that wasn’t the case Wednesday night, when the retiring Los Angeles Lakers star played his final game in TD Garden.
Though Bryant received some pretty hearty boos nearly every time he touched the ball, the fans made sure they paid their respects during the final minutes of the game. And it was pretty crazy to hear.
As strange as it might have sounded to the casual observer, Lakers coach Byron Scott wasn’t surprised about how Bryant was received by Celtics fans.
“It’s becoming old hat right now,” Scott said. “It’s everywhere we go he’s getting that type of ovation. I didn’t expect anything different. Like I said, the fans here are unbelievable as far as their knowledge of the game. The battles that we’ve had with them, and especially with Kobe over the years, I think they just wanted to show their appreciation.”
The Celtics players agreed with Scott, too.
“I think typically they would never do that,” Celtics guard Evan Turner said. “But it just says how much respect the league and fans actually have for the great career this guy put together.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant removes his shirt prior to a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.