Fans watching the Boston Celtics trounce the Cleveland Cavaliers, 108-83, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC this past Sunday might have noticed some scribbled letters near the Celtics’ bench at TD Garden. At least they appear to be scribbled letters while watching the game on television.
Well, in case you were wondering exactly what the cursive letters near the Celtics’ sideline is, we’ll remind you before Game 2 of the series tips off tonight.
The letters are actually the signature of the late Red Auerbach. In fact, the Celtics first debuted the special graphic near their bench in November 2007, just over a year after the Hall of Fame coach died in October 2006.
It was during that November 2007 ceremony that the franchise named its court the “Red Auerbach Parquet Floor” in honor of the iconic coach, who guided the Celtics to nine NBA championships in 10 years: 1957 and from 1959-1966.
“When Red passed away I said we would put his signature on the floor,” Celtics’ managing partner, governor and CEO, Wyc Grousbeck, told NBA.com back in February 2016. “That’s how much it means to me, because Red Auerbach means more than anybody else really in the history of this franchise.”
Auerbach’s signature has been a 9-foot-3-inch staple on the Celtics’ parquet floor since then.
Prior to that point, the Celtics had never put anything on their floor, as reported in the same story, making the honor all the more special.
Auerbach’s spirit was definitely with the Celtics that 2007-2008 season, as they won the NBA championship that year, spearheaded by their Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
And judging the way that the Celtics beat up on the Cavs in Game 1, some would argue that Auerbach’s spirit was with them on Sunday, too.
If you were too busy watching Jaylen Brown score a game-high 23 points or the Celtics somehow managing to stifle LeBron James into 5-of-16 shooting for 15 points in Game 1, see if you could spot Auerbach’s signature near Boston’s bench during Game 2.
The Cavs and Celtics will tip off at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night on ESPN.