Bryant, who has yet to announce his retirement plans, has said numerous times over the past year he doesn't want a grand sendoff while hinting that this season -- his 20th in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers -- will be his last. He would rather wait and announce after the season whether he is retiring than be showered with gifts and ceremonies in opposing arenas where he normally has been booed for years.
"I don't break routine," Bryant said. "I try not to do anything different. Even if it could be my last time there, I try not to do anything different. I try to just honor everything I've been doing throughout my career."
A year ago, Ortiz had echoed Bryant's sentiments after watching two of his longtime New York Yankees rivals take season-long victory laps.
"What Derek Jeter is doing is fine because he's Derek Jeter. What Mariano [Rivera] did is fine because it's Mariano," Ortiz said in September 2014. "But I don't know if I'm going to go through all that. I'm not going to wake up and be like, 'I'm going to play this year and then not anymore.'"
It's likely Ortiz will be showered with gifts like his predecessors were during his farewell tour. Bryant, however, appears to be passing on that opportunity. In doing so, the five-time NBA champion is forgoing the kinds of gifts other future Hall of Famers have been lavished with during their final seasons. Here's a look back at some of the more memorable farewell tours and a sampling of the gifts those athletes received as they exited stage right.
John Havlicek, Boston Celtics, 1977-78
There were informal "farewell tours" that came before it, but Havlicek's victory lap is the first that comes to mind when talking about the lavish gifts and ceremonies that have come to define these elongated goodbyes. The Boston Celtics star known as "Hondo" announced Jan. 26, 1978 -- about midway through his 16th year in the NBA -- he would retire at the end of the season. There was an outpouring of appreciation from opposing teams for the 13-time All-Star over his final months. He received a hatchet and a fishing rod from the Portland Trail Blazers, a gold money clip from the Golden State Warriors and an outboard motor from the Seattle SuperSonics. He also received a color television set, jewelry, a recliner, a rocking chair, skis, tennis racquets and a video tape recorder at other stops along the way. The Celtics gave him a $40,000 mobile home camper at his final home game, while NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien gave him a check for $925, his career total in fines paid to the league.
Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers, 1986-87
Havlicek's farewell tour lasted a little more than two months. Erving's upped the ante by going the whole season after the announcement of his impending retirement was made on opening night. Among the gifts Dr. J received were six cases of Napa Valley wine from the Warriors, ski clothing and a resort vacation in Park City from the Utah Jazz, a red, white and blue ABA basketball from the Indiana Pacers and a framed square of the Boston Garden parquet court from the Celtics. When Erving played at New Jersey against the franchise with which he won two ABA titles, the team retired the No. 32 jersey he wore for the New York Nets.
Erving's final regular-season home game was delayed more than an hour by a pregame ceremony. Maurice Cheeks and his other teammates gave him a scholarship to a golf school, Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey and Philadelphia mayor W. Wilson Goode made presentations, singer Patti LaBelle performed, and the sold-out crowd that included many fans wearing tuxedos and formal dresses gave Erving multiple standing ovations.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers, 1988-89
After Erving's over-the-top farewell tour, the Lakers tried their best to scale it down during Abdul-Jabbar's final season. They sent teams guidelines asking that ceremonies be held at halftime and limited to 10 minutes. "All I've heard is how negative an experience it's going to be because of the experiences of Havlicek and Dr. J," Lakers coach Pat Riley said before the season. "But we're the ones who have to turn it around."
Abdul-Jabbar was honored 25 times during his final season and received a rocking chair three times. Golden State gave him a 24-foot sailboat. Milwaukee, where he started his NBA career, gave him a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Knicks gave him a Tiffany silver apple and a frame with every jersey he wore at Madison Square Garden (Power Memorial High, UCLA, Bucks and Lakers). The Lakers, of course, had the biggest presentation, gifting their captain a 1989 Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce, a lighted championship tennis court at his home, tickets to Hawaii for his family and a street renamed Kareem Court outside the Forum.
Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles, 2001
Baseball's first extravagant farewell tour was for Ripken, who announced in June 2001 that he was retiring at the end of the season. The man who broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played streak and was a 19-time All-Star was feted everywhere he played. The Rangers "retired" Ripken's locker in the visitor's clubhouse, and Nolan Ryan presented him with cowboy boots. Tampa Bay gave him a year's supply of Florida stone crabs, which were presented by season-ticket holder and ESPN announcer Dick Vitale. The A's dedicated an inner-city baseball field in Ripken's name and gave him a case of Napa Valley wine, and the Angels threw him and his family a parade at Disneyland.
At his last home game, former president Bill Clinton was on hand for "Cal Ripken Day" as Ripken's No. 8 was carved into the outfield grass, the lights in the Legg Mason office building in the distance were lit up to form the No. 8 and a stretch of Interstate 395 outside Camden Yards was named Cal Ripken Way.
Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves, 2012
When Jones announced he was retiring after the 2012 season during spring training, baseball was primed to have its first farewell tour in over a decade. Jones was showered with gifts at every stop during his 20th year in the majors. Many teams tried to do something unique for the eight-time All-Star third baseman. The Cubs gave him the Braves flag that flew on the standings flag pole at Wrigley Field. The Padres gave him a custom-made surfboard, and the Marlins gave him a fishing kit complete with a fly rod and reel. The Brewers gave him a grill and a year's supply of Klement's sausages.
Several teams had the same idea and presented him with a commemorative third base. On the day of his last home game, dubbed "Chipper Jones Day" by the governor of Georgia, the Braves gave him a pool table and a Hawaiian vacation, and Hank Aaron presented him with the commemorative third base that had been used during Jones' final homestand.
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees, 2013
When the greatest closer of all time announced he would be retiring after the 2013 season during spring training, opponents breathed a sigh of relief and lined up to send him off appropriately. The Twins presented him with "The Chair of Broken Dreams," a rocking chair made partly out of broken bats, some of which were snapped by Rivera's famous cutter. The Indians gave him a gold record of Metallica's "Enter Sandman," his famous entrance song, and the Giants gave him a custom guitar similar to the one used by Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett. The Orioles, following the Twins' theme, gave him a bronze sculpture of a bat being broken by a pitch.
At Rivera's final game at Yankee Stadium, Metallica played "Enter Sandman" live, the Yankees retired his number and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg named the day in his honor.
Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, 2014
The latest farewell tour came after Jeter announced that the 2014 season would be his last by releasing a statement on Facebook before the start of spring training. His haul included a bucket of jumbo steamed crabs and an oversized crab mallet from the Orioles. The Red Sox gave him a metal placard from the Green Monster reading "RE2PECT" signed by the team. The Rays gave him a custom-made No. 2 kayak, and the Angels gave him a Yankees stand-up paddleboard. The Cubs gave him a No. 2 square from the Wrigley Field scoreboard.
In his final home game, the Yankees gave him a massage therapy machine, a 10-day trip to Tuscany, an inscribed Waterford crystal and a check for $222,222.22 to his Turn 2 Foundation.