By Andrea Montolivo
Boston, USA, Jun 10 (EFE).- There is not a more recognizable floor in basketball than the one at the Garden. Its legend was born during World War II, when shortages of wood, which was prioritized for the construction of military ships, forced the Celtics to put together small pieces of different colors to assemble their court.
The parquet is now a part of NBA history. From Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, to Larry Bird, to the trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, to Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. The Celtics continue to write new chapters to the franchise’s story and are currently fighting in the NBA Finals for what would be their 18th title, an outright record.
The iconic Boston arena has been the common factor between the legend first written in the 1950s and the new ambitions of this already unforgettable 2022 squad.
Richard Johnson, the director of the Boston Sports Museum, located inside the TD Garden, where trophies, historic photos and relics of one of the most iconic franchises in the NBA are on display, is responsible for preserving the incalculable value of the Celtics’ history.
A Celtics fan since the age of eight, Johnson has been in charge of the museum since 1982 and is a living and breathing textbook on the history of the team and the Garden: “There are some stadiums that wake up ghosts, like Anfield or the Bernabeu. The Garden is one of them,” he says.
No court in world basketball is more recognizable than the Celtics’, but their legend forged over the years was born out of a simple necessity.
The hardwood floor was installed in the Garden in the early 1940s, at the height of World War II, when the United States was using large quantities of lumber to defend the country.
It was very difficult to find wood boards of the same color, forcing the Garden’s parquet to be made up of pieces of different colors.
“It was good quality wood, just the colors were different and that ended up being a trademark of the team. I cannot think of other teams whose floor is actually their trademark.” Johnson told EFE.
None of the wooden boards from the original Garden have survived in the current arena, where the Celtics have played since 1995.
But the franchise honored the tradition and has continued to use different colored wood to assemble its court.
The current parquet is the third generation, as the NBA introduced a rule that requires teams to renovate their court every ten years.
“The rule is relatively new and the parquet was only renovated three times. It’s remarkable when you think it’s the third in the franchise’s 75-year history,” Johnson points out. EFE