Even though the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics is one of the most fierce in all of sports, there has always been a healthy amount of respect between the two sides. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were great friends off the floor, and Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce have always respected one another.
Kobe recently had his jerseys raised to the Staples Center rafters, joining Magic and the rest of the Lakers legends, and on Sunday, the Boston Celtics did the same for Paul Pierce, retiring his No. 34 jersey.
During a video tribute shown in the first quarter, both Magic and Kobe made an appearance to congratulate Pierce.
Magic lauded Pierce as a future Hall-of-Famer and a champion. Of course that championship came at the expense of the Lakers, so it is not a memorable moment for fans here.
Kobe was loudly booed the second he was shown on the screen, as is to be expected. Once that calmed down and Kobe gave his congratulations to Pierce, he did receive a nice applause from the Celtics fans who still hate Kobe’s guts.
Overall, it was a great ceremony for Pierce, a lifelong Celtic, that saw many legends come out and pay their respects. Ruining the night however, was the game itself as the Celtics were blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Of course this was the first game with the Cavaliers for a couple of former Lakers in Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. so in their Cleveland debut, they got to stick it to the Celtics one more time.
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