BOSTON (CBS) -- Kobe Bryant is enjoying a bit of a farewell tour as he plays out his 20-year NBA career, and several teams will probably roll out the red carpet when he comes to town for the final time.
But it sounds like one team won't be breaking out all the bells and whistles for the future Hall of Famer, and it really should come as no surprise.
When Kobe makes his final trip to Boston on December 30, don't expect the Celtics to celebrate (at least not in the way other NBA teams are).
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich there haven't been any internal talks for Kobe's last visit to Boston, and it doesn't sound like Ainge really wants to celebrate a man who has played his entire career for the Celtics' chief rival.
"I'm not a big fan of the farewell tours," Ainge told Toucher & Rich. "I like the guys who walk away at the end of the season. But you can't take away from Kobe, he's had a great career."
Asked if Bryant will go down as a Top 10 player, Ainge would only say he's in the discussion. And if he had a time machine and could pick either Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant to start a team, Ainge didn't have to give much thought.
"Tim Duncan," he replied.
That Celtics-Lakers rivalry is always alive and well, even if the two teams aren't competing for another NBA title.
There's nothing wrong with the Celtics potentially letting Bryant's final visit to the Garden come and go without any balloons falling from the rafters or tributes on the video board. As much as fans and the organization may respect what he's accomplished over his career, it would be difficult to stomach watching any Kobe highlights while the two teams battle it out on the court.
The players will have their handshakes and hugs midcourt, and the fans will give him a sendoff with boos and/or cheers (most likely the former than the latter). That should be enough of a sendoff in Boston.
However, if they want to play a mashup of the 509 shot he's missed against the Celtics over his career, sign me up.
Click here to listen to Ainge's full interview with Toucher & Rich.
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