Boston Celtics is a record-setting team for the number of numbers withdrawn from circulation, and this applies not only to the NBA, but also to all sports. In the cheerleader environment, there is a joke that the team will soon have to use three-digit numbers, although in reality none of us will live to this point. Over 67 years of existence, the Celts have perpetuated 21 rooms, and at the same pace, free rooms will be available for more than 200 years. But this very pace clearly slowed down. Then we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the moment when the last time the Celtics ’basketball game number retired – on December 15, 2003; Cedric Maxwell’s 31 numbers were raised to the arena’s vaults. Prior to this, the number was taken out of circulation back in 1995 – due to the tragic death of Reggie Lewis two years earlier. And from 1996 to 2013, the Celtics lost only one number. At this rate, double-digit numbers, even if they are exotic, like “66” or “93”, will be free even for the Celtics for a long time.
So, at the moment under the vaults of “Garden” hang banners, which bear twenty-one number, as well as the letters LOSCY (in honor of Jim Loskutoff, who asked to continue to use his 18th number) and microphone image (in honor of Johnny Moest). What is the next number sewn to a free space at the next banner?
- # 34. Paul Pierce. Probability: 99%. Pros: It is unlikely that anyone even doubts that in a couple of years, when Paul finishes his career, we will see “34” hanging next to the iconic numbers “6”, “17”, “33” and others. Pierce served the team for 15 years (more than Havlicek) and may well return to his native club in one role or another. Only because of the laws and trends of the modern NBA, Pierce did not manage to spend his entire career in Boston. He is the owner of a dozen record “Celtics” and many honors and awards. For 13 seasons, he led the team as captain, catching up with Bob Kuzi. Finally, it was he who became the 2008 MVP finals. Paul Pierce is one of the greatest players in Celtics history. True. Against: Only some wild coincidence of circumstances, such as an irreconcilable conflict with the management of the club, the relocation of the franchise from Boston or the collapse of the entire NBA, can prevent the removal of 34th number from circulation.
- #5. Kevin Garnett. Probability: 75%. Pros: Kevin’s appearance in Boston revived the spirit of the Celtics, and many thought at that moment: “And how did he not play for the Celts before?” Despite the fact that Kevin did not receive the MVP title, his significance in returning of the title in Boston is huge. The whole story with the campaign “Celtics” for the title associated not with Pierce or Allen, and twisted around Kevin’s person. The touching rollers with Bill Russell, anything is possible, finally the title of “Mr. Lock” and 5 matches of stars – all this speaks in favor of the fact that no one else will come to the NBA in the form of “Celtics” with the lonely number “5” on the back. Against: Kevin’s number is clearly taken out of circulation in the team, which is still obliged to Garnett with all its successes. Even 6 years after the transition, Kevin Garnett continues to be the epitome of “Timberwolves”, in whose history there was not even a player of the same scale. All the other Minnesota players, taken together, achieved less than Kevin alone. But is Garnett big enough for two clubs to immediately display a number in his honor? Bob Lanir is honored in Detroit, where he played the best years, and in Milwaukee, where he ended his career, but some consider such an attitude a mistake. What about Garnett?
- # 44. Danny Arange. Probability: 50.00001%. Pro: Danny is a three-time NBA champion, and in two of these championships his role is high. If in 1984 he was a reservist, by 1986 he had become one of the most recognizable people in one of the greatest teams in the history of sports and in the playoffs he was the most reliable team sniper. The following year, he was already very tightly incorporated into Celtic folklore, when I hate Danny Ainge T-shirts appeared in Detroit. A year later, he deserved a call to the All-Star Game. But his achievements in the Celtics are not limited to 8 seasons as a player. Returning to the club in 2003, Danny led the club to the next title, gathering an amazing roster in the summer of 2007 and earning the prize for the best NBA general manager. Team owner Vik Grusbek himself hinted that the number “44” (under which, by the way, such legendary personalities as Dave Bing, Pete Maravich, Rick Fox and even Brian Scalabrine) would soon join friends “33”, “32” , “00” and “3”, and all the legendary five will be under the arches. Against: Of course, such honors will be discussed only after Danny’s retirement. Now the number continues to be used – for example, Chris Wilcox. This would not have happened if the question of perpetuating the two quadruples would have been a decided matter. Danny’s playing career for the Celtics alone is not so grand that the perpetuated number relied for it, and the management career is still awaiting a serious test in the form of a team restructuring. Let’s see how Danny can handle it.
- #9. Rajon rondo. Probability: 49.99999%. Pros: By his 27 years old, Rondo is already the sixth in the history of the franchise in surrendered broadcasts and claims to be the “second after Kuzi” among the Celtics playmakers. He already has four All-Star Games behind him, voices for the title of MVP, the symbolic team of the season, 4 defense teams and the legitimate 2008 championship. Now Redjon is the undisputed leader of the team, and if he confirms his claim to the title of one of the best players in the league, he will have to receive his own playing number from Boston in ten years, even if by that time he had finished his career in another team. Against: In order to fall into the “yes rather than no” category, number 9 should at least return to the previous level after the injury, and even in the Celtics, which, with the complex character of Rondo, is far from a guarantee. So far, all the achievements of Rondo have a touch of convention. He is also reproached with the fact that he was only a carrier of projectiles for the greats, that the 2008 Celtics championship could have been taken with any other point guard, that Rondo had never been the leader of the contest and that all of his Star Matches defenders in the East. The upcoming season will be very important for Rondo: where will his name be inscribed in the history of the Celtics and the NBA?
Above, only some players of Boston Celtic are listed. Well, now turn to the history of the team and interesting facts about it.
Some facts from the history of the team
The author of the first three-point shot in the history of the NBA was Chris Ford, who spoke then for “Boston”. He scored three balls in the regular season opening match against Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979. By the way, that match ended up winning the Celtics with the score of 114-108. Back in 2014, Boston, for the first time in its history, entered the parquet not in green, not in white, or even in washed-out white form. For 67 years, the team made only minor changes in its appearance, and therefore such blasphemy with a game form – like a sickle in the eyes.
The gray pajamas themselves were worn by the players 6 times that season and were intended to “mark the greatest moments in the Celtics’ history on the famous old Gardene floor. It clearly does not invent a worse form in this very story. However, here and especially there is nothing to choose from – “Boston” practically did not change the form from Russell to Byrd. When everyone had redesigns, retro shapes, “alternative” colors, the Celtics continued to do with white and green minimalism. Nevertheless, today is a reason to recall the entire evolution of the game form of the “Celts”. We begin, according to tradition, from the very beginning.
The first sleeves were gone – in the second season they were not there. The shorts lasted a little longer (especially since they were literally the same shorts – sewing a comfortable uniform was not easy and expensive), and the belts survived even before the appearance of Bob Kuzi in the team. It happened that the buckles of the belts ripped off the stomachs of especially unfortunate lovers to dive to the floor for the ball. Here are two pictures of Bob, one with a strap, the other with a rubber band: Notice that the home form reads “CELTICS” on the chest, and the guest form says “BOSTON”. This is a tradition of American sports: so that viewers in the stands understand where the guest team came from, the name of the city / state / university was always on the guests’ uniform, and not a nickname. The inscriptions themselves are decorated in a semicircle, skirting the game room. The font is not the same as we are used to, but Russell took the first 10 titles in exactly this form.
In the 1960s, the Celtics were the first in the league to use warm-up shirts and jackets. The jackets had (and, of course, remained so far) their own special “Celtic” trait – the player’s last name was put on the back. “Boston”, in which players rarely changed, could afford the luxury of personalized training jackets. By the way, on the game form the names appeared only in 1972! Bill Russell played his entire career without a RUSSELL patch on his back, only with the lone number “6”. As in the final against LAL in 1968 (which already had last names):
With the exception of constantly lengthening panties, and the appearance of the NBA logo on T-shirts and shorts, as well as adding a shamrock to a virtual “buckle”, this form has passed unchanged the era of Havlichka, the era of Byrd, and the era of Pierce. Such a modest tandem — a white form with green numbers and inscriptions and green with white, with small thin trimming stripes along the sleeves, throat and side of the panties — held until 2005, when the Celtics introduced the third form. They made it, naturally, the latest in the league.
The form was an attempt to cross the “old school” and “youth.” “Old School” was the inscription “BOSTON” on the chest (which was very pleased, for example, MVP Final 76 Joe Joe White, because it was in this he debuted in the league) and triangular inlays on the shorts (which nobody was glad because almost 60 years have passed and no one remembered them). Paul Pierce presented a strange form and … oddly enough, it has taken root and is still in use. A year later, “Boston” invented another form, which for several seasons fell into the wardrobe of the “Celts” – the uniform for the day of St. Patrick.
The NBA in the second half of the 2000s began to strongly promote all kinds of “Noche Latina”, Christmas and throwback forms and the like. Not spared, and one of the most secular among the church holidays – the day of St. Patrick. The teams dressed in green, were trimmed with clover from head to toe and what should “Boston” do if they are already green and with a shamrock? Green-black form was invented on the basis of the third variant to assemble a new version of the uniform, replacing the black with the gold. In principle, it worked – and the holiday spirit remained, and a new set appeared.
Further all was worse. First in 2007 was the coloring of the Italian flag, which is not considered, because then there was an exhibition game. Then there was the 2012 Christmas uniform, which was so mediocre that Gerald Wallace tried to rip it off from Kevin Garnett: “Green on green, which contrasted poorly on the TV picture with gray on gray, and the brightest spot was the RED headband on Pierce … Then Christmas 2013 came, when Boston was so bad that he was not invited to play at all, but his uniform we sewed it and put it on sale … So, what awaits us for this Christmas is not the most disgusting thing that happened to the Christmas forms.”
The best that can be in some specially made uniform is the absence of sleeves. Here on the day of St. Patrick-2014 “Boston” walked away from the traditional Patrick’s uniform and stuck the sleeves to it, and it turned out so badly that everyone was sick of the green Guinness: “Alas, experiments with the sleeves continue and lead us to the gray nightmare that we will be forced to see today in the broadcast of the match against the Bulls. Unfortunately, while the T-shirt is not only a basketball player’s uniform, but also a souvenir, the NBA and T-shirt firms will come up with more and more new ugly sets of shapes – with sleeves, colorful inserts, reflective numbers, an OLED display on the back, flashlights on the stomach, lace on shorts or even suspenders with ancient appalachian ornaments because we can sell it.”