Lakers-Celtics Preview

Kobe Bryant revealed a fact earlier this week that would likely make Los Angeles Lakers fans cringe.

His favorite color is green.

Bryant will get his fill Wednesday night when he visits the Lakers' eternal rival, the Boston Celtics, for the final time.

As expected of a Lakers player, Bryant said he has eschewed buying green clothing because of his franchise's enmity with the Celtics. He added that former Los Angeles star and general manager Jerry West won't even wear that color on his underwear.

"It's been my favorite color forever," Bryant said. "I've always loved it. It's a little weird, isn't it?"

The NBA's third all-time leading scorer is expecting a "love-hate fest" for his final game in Boston and plans to have his family in attendance.

"I'm looking forward to them getting the chance to see the city a little bit and then just experience the green," he said. "It's just a different green. I want them to be able to see that."

Bryant won the latest of his five championships in 2010 against the Celtics, winning the final two games of the seven-game series in Los Angeles and earning the second of his back-to-back Finals MVP awards.

Boston, though, also finished off one of his two NBA finals defeats with a 131-92 drubbing at the TD Garden on June 17, 2008. That is the Celtics' lone title in the past 29 seasons.

Bryant's final game in Boston will come against a team that hardly resembles those Celtics squads. Their Big Three has scattered with Kevin Garnett back in Minnesota, Paul Pierce on the West Coast with the Los Angeles Clippers and Ray Allen no longer in the league.

This Boston team has experienced some of its success of old lately with a season-high four consecutive wins. The Celtics (18-13) fended off visiting New York 100-91 on Sunday, with Isaiah Thomas scoring eight of his 21 points in the final three minutes and are off to their best start since 2010-11, their last 50-win campaign.

"Our focus can't be on (Kobe). It's got to be on us. It's got to be on us playing well. It's got to be on us getting better," coach Brad Stevens said. "I don't think there's any question that all of our players respect and appreciate all that he's accomplished as a player."

Well on pace for a third straight losing season, the Lakers (5-27) are even further removed from their halcyon days. Bryant visited the team that drafted him, Charlotte, in the middle of this three-game road trip and scored 20 points on 5-of-20 shooting in a 108-98 loss.

That visit included a pregame tribute from Hornets owner Michael Jordan.

"It's been remarkable. The fans have shown him a lot of love and rightfully so," Lakers coach Byron Scott said. "He's put in 20 hard years and he's given everything he's got every single night. I think everywhere we've gone the fans are showing their appreciation and it's a beautiful thing.

"(The atmosphere in Boston) is going to be interesting. The Celtics fans are very knowledgeable about the game, and I think they'll show their appreciation as well."

The Lakers have won seven of nine over the Celtics heading into the first matchup this season but have lost in two of their last three games in Boston.

Bryant has missed three of the past four meetings and made his lone appearance in that stretch at the Garden in a 113-96 loss Dec. 5, 2014.

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