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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sixers coach Brett Brown reflects on memories at Boston Garden

(Boston University)

While the 76ers’ game Wednesday night against the host Boston Celtics is sure to be a treat for Sixers rookie and Hamilton, Mass., native Michael Carter-Williams, as well as for injured rookie Nerlens Noel, of Malden, Mass., it’s fair to assume the Sixers’ first-year coach will have a few familiar faces in the arena, too.

The native of South Portland, Maine, who routinely took trips with his parents into Boston as a youth to watch the Celtics, Brett Brown spoke glowingly Tuesday after the Sixers’ practice about his links to Boston: the games he’d seen there and the games he’d played there, as an undergrad at Boston University.

Here’s what Brown had to say:
On Boston Garden’s charm:

“In the seats I had, you’d look up five feet to the roof and see the moss and the stalagmites or stalactites. I don’t remember which one goes up or down. You’re in an old, dingy building that had so much character.”

On the parquet floor’s unforgiving squares:

“I played there a few times during my Boston University days,” he said. “You’d play in Christmas tournaments – BC, Northeastern, UMass. You’d be flying up the court, dribbling and you’d hit one of the dead squares and you’re upset because it’s a turnover with nobody around and (the ball) just wouldn’t come up. It’s funny. You started learning, as a point guard, where you could go for steals. Sometimes, with other point guards you were guarding were going to have trouble with the floor. You’d try to manipulate it and try to take it as an advantage.”

On the Sixers/Celtics games from back in the day:

“I can still hear the music, the introduction, to the NBA Game of the Week. You hear it and you think immediately, ‘NBA.’ To travel down to the Garden, and to see back in my day it was (George) McGinnis and Julius Erving and Bobby Jones and Andrew Toney and Mo Cheeks and Doug (Collins) and so on. I couldn’t believe how Toney would kick the Celtics’ tail. He was so unguardable. … It was such a big part of my upbringing.”

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