Celtics’ Danny Ainge gives present to Hawks’ Vince Carter in final year
Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Carter announced that he would retire at the end of the campaign. The former Rookie of the Year for the 1998-99 season re-signed with the Hawks in the past offseason at 42 years old and has appeared in four distinct decades during his NBA tenure.
Ainge presented Carter on Friday a piece of the Celtics’ old iconic parquet court from the Boston Garden.
A special moment as Danny Ainge presents @mrvincecarter15 with a piece of court from the original parquet in Boston Garden.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 7, 2020
The Boston Garden existed as the Celtics’ original home arena for the duration of the franchise’s existence until 1995, when they moved to the TD Garden. It was later demolished in 1998.
Ainge’s gift is a fitting tribute to Carter, who has had one of the longest careers in the history of the league, much like Celtics great Robert Parish — the championship-winning center for Boston. Only Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, both Hall of Fame big men, are ahead of “Half-Man/Half-Amazing” for the NBA’s leaders in career games played.
Vince Carter entered the league after the Celtics moved to the TD Garden; however, he did spend time playing on parquet as the Beantown franchise incorporated the iconic floor design in their new arena. Boston’s time playing at the new Garden only eclipses Carter’s storied NBA tenure by three years.
The eight-time All-Star will soon be history, just like the Boston Garden and its parquet floor, when he retires in April 2020.