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Kobe Bryant looks ahead to final game in Boston

LOS ANGELES -- After playing in his 16th and final Christmas Day game on Friday, Kobe Bryant looked ahead to the Los Angeles Lakers' upcoming three-game road trip, which culminates with his final game in Boston, a city where he has plenty of history.

The 37-year-old Bryant, who said he plans to retire after this season, twice battled the rival Celtics in the NBA Finals, losing in 2008 and winning in 2010.

On Dec. 30, Bryant will play his final game against the Celtics at TD Garden.

Leading up to that game and the visit to Boston, Bryant said he is looking forward to "going to one of my favorite Italian restaurants -- no kidding -- and having a nice little glass of limoncello after, then showing up to the Garden and competing and playing."

As Bryant added, "There's something about that [Celtics] green. It's a different green than any other green that's in the world. It's weird. It's like that green glows. So I'm looking forward to competing there and being in that environment one more time."

Bryant also reflected on the period after losing the 2008 Finals to the Celtics, who beat the Lakers by 39 points in a series-clinching Game 6 win at TD Garden.

It would be two years before the teams met again in the Finals, a stretch Bryant called "tough."

"I remember when we were losing [in Game 6 in 2008], they played that Journey song ["Don't Stop Believin'"] and the whole arena started singing that song, and I hated that damn song for two years. Seriously," Bryant said.

"But I listened to that song every single day because it just reminded me of that feeling. Same thing with the Dropkick Murphys [song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston"]. I'm listening to Dropkick Murphys all the time just because I want to remember that feeling."

"And so to go back in 2010 and have that redemption [meant a lot]," Bryant explained.

That 2010 championship, which the Lakers won in a grueling seven-game series that ended at Staples Center, gave Bryant his fifth title.

During Friday's 94-84 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Bryant said he reflected on that 2010 Finals win with teammate Metta World Peace, especially when Bryant saw Clippers forward Paul Pierce, a member of that 2010 Celtics team.

"I was telling Metta when I was on the bench and Paul was running down, I said, ‘You know, Metta, I'm so damn happy we won that 2010 Finals, dude, because I'd be sick as s--- sitting here right now [if we didn't]," Bryant said, "He felt the same way."

Did that 2010 title mean more than any other for Bryant?

"I'll put it to you this way: If I lost that championship, I'd be miserable," he said. "I would be. Sitting here right now, I'd be absolutely miserable."