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Boston Celtics May Get New Floor

November 9, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ The famed parquet floor trod upon by such Celtics greats as Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird and John Havlicek might go the way of Boston Garden.

FleetCenter and team officials are exploring the possibility of replacing the crosscut oak floor that is as old as the NBA.

``It’s something we’ve looked at for a while,″ FleetCenter spokesman Jim Delaney said. ``Nothing has been done for sure yet. But we are actively looking at different samples to replace it.″

In 1995, when the Garden closed, the floor was moved to the new arena.

Opposing players have complained through the years of dead spots, contending there are parts of the floor in which the ball doesn’t bounce the way it should.

Officials have been looking at replacing the floor for more than a year. Most likely, the new floor will not be an exact copy of the current floor, which consists of 247 panels, measuring 5 feet by 5 feet, held together with 988 bolts.

Some of the sample floor panels the team and the FleetCenter are examining are much bigger, measuring 4 feet by 9 feet.

``Whatever is done, we’d like there to be a continuity with the Celtic tradition,″ Delaney told The Boston Globe.

Rick Pitino, Celtics president and coach, said he didn’t know about the floor being replaced, but team spokesman Jeff Twiss confirmed replacement samples have been examined.

Original Celtics owner Walter Brown had the floor built for about $11,000 by the East Boston Lumber Co. in 1946. The floor was built from scraps from a Tennessee forest because of a post-World War II shortage of materials.

Parts of the parquet floor are expected to be sent to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, with much of it to be cut and sold as memorabilia.

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