Danny Ainge, Rich Gotham, Kobe Bryant and Steve Pagliuca
(L-R) Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, president Rich Gotham and owner Steve Pagliuca present Kobe Bryant with a piece of the Celtics' original parquet floor.
(Brian Babineau/Getty Images)

Celtics Present Kobe with Piece of Parquet Floor

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Only the greatest of individuals can turn hatred into respect.

After 20 years of representing the Celtics' greatest rivals, Kobe Bryant was honored by them during private ceremony before his final game in Boston on Wednesday.

The Celtics — represented by owner Steve Pagliuca, president Rich Gotham and general manager Danny Ainge — presented Bryant with a piece of the franchise's original parquet floor.

In addition to the hardwood itself, the frame also contains a photo of Bryant on the floor, a log of each of his games in Boston and an inscription that reads: "In recognition of your many legendary performances on the Parquet floor. From your friends and rivals, The Boston Celtics."

Bryant has provided many memories among Boston's sea of green, and he cites the Lakers' loss in the 2008 NBA Finals as one of the turning points of his career.

"The (2008) loss led to the (2010) win," Bryant said during Wednesday's pregame press conference. "I say that in the most beautiful way possible. I don’t remember the loss as like a painful experience, I remember it as a beautiful moment because it helped me find the best version of myself and my teammates.

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