Historically, the Boston Celtics and Red Auerbach pulled out all the stops to stymie opponents at the old Boston Garden. He’d turn off the hot water for the visitors’ showers, while the Lakers often accused him of turning the heat up in their locker room. The Garden wasn’t air conditioned, and the temperature on the floor once reached 97 degrees during one game of the 1984 NBA Finals. The notorious Garden parquet floor even moved with the Celtics to the new TD Garden in 1995, bringing its wood from 1947 and its unpredictable dead spots along with it.
The Ghost of Red Auerbach may have been involved today when the Golden State Warriors had to delay their warmups to deal with a different Garden issue.
With a little over 90 minutes to tip off one of the Warriors assistant coaches noticed that the rim seemed too high in early warmups. He brought a couple players out to confirm and they also believed the rim was too high. They measured and in fact the rim was 2 inches too high.— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) June 9, 2022
This was probably just an innocent mistake by the stadium staff. Although, if you were trying to mess with a team like the Warriors who relies on outside shooting, moving the rim up to ten feet, two inches would be the perfect way to throw off their aim. Not to mention that supersub Jordan Poole had to delay his warmup for twenty minutes while workers dealt with the problem. Maybe it was one of those notorious Boston leprechauns playing a prank, perhaps taking offense to the Warriors’ “Gold-Blooded” slogan.
It reminded me of the famous scene from Hoosiers, a movie set in Celtics GM Brad Stevens’ home state of Indiana, where Gene Hackman measures the court to reassure his team that the dimensions of the big gym are no different than their little gym back in Hickory.
Imagine Steve Kerr telling Poole, “I think you’ll find it’s the exact same measurements as our gym back in San Francisco,” as Bruce Fraser interrupts to yell, “It’s ten feet, two inches, coach!” Honestly, it’s the kind of thing that would have driven Dennis Hopper’s character to drink.
Luckily, they caught the mistake before the game started and Steph Curry started clanking shots off the front of the rim - and Draymond started nailing every single one of his outside shots. And perhaps this is the confidence boost Klay Thompson needs to break out of his shooting slump. It’s not you, it’s the rim, Klay!
The game is still scheduled to tip off on time. No word yet whether the visitors locker room has hot water, towels, or toilet paper.