Opening Up The Files On The Boston Celtics

A brief history of the Boston Celtics parquet court

The Boston Celtics are the most historic franchise in the NBA for many reasons. The 17 banners that hang above the court have something to do with it, but it’s the court itself that could be more historical than the championship banners above it. 

In 1946 when Walter Brown first owned the Celtics and was constructing the court, he had difficulties finding wood due to a lumber shortage after World War II. 

As an alternative, Brown decided his only option was to obtain scraps of wood from various lumber yards throughout Boston to build his court for their debut in the ABA. 

For a whopping $11,000 Brown had his court built using scraps of Tennessee Red Oak that was built into 247 5×5 square panels laid out in different patterns to create the parquet look. 

The Celtics would use this same floor for the next 53 years and raise 16 championship banners right above it. The parquet became synonymous with the Celtics and it also distracted opposing players, once said by Bill Russell.

“It [the parquet] was unique because it looked like no other floor. But what was most significant about the floor was that teams found it distracting. And that was all right.”

In 1999, the original court that Brown architected was removed and replaced with a more modern court, which has been removed and upgraded two times in the last 23 years. 

The original parquet is now used as a memento for retiring players and staff. The parquet will forever be synonymous with the Boston Celtics because of its uniqueness and authenticity.

Part of that authenticity is from years of use in what would become a very broken-in court. Players often said that it became strategic for Red Auerbach to instruct his defense to force opposing players to the dead spots of the court as it would have an impact on the recoil of a dribble. 

The parquet design is unique to Boston and the history behind the team. 

Follow us on Twitter @CelticsFiles


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: