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Boston Garden (temporarily) stripped of history

March 27, 2009 |  2:00 pm

BOSTON -- Laker fans, your wildest fantasies have come true.

All 17 of the Celtics' NBA Championship banners have been removed from the Boston Garden, the parquet floor has been ripped up and Gerald Henderson played horribly.

OK, there's a catch: No one does arena sanitization better than the NCAA, which swooped into Boston for the East Regionals and gave Boston Garden a makeover. Of course, this isn't the original Boston Garden, home of so many Laker sob stories, which was torn down more than a decade ago--it's a wonder they didn't ask Jerry West to push the  button on the detonator.

The new TD Banknorth Garden, though, is on adjacent real estate and hosted last year's Laker NBA finals' debacle.

Anyway, the NCAA wants a uniform look, so it has replaced the parquet with its own floor--the one with the huge NCAA logo at center court.

Gerald Henderson Jr.? He went 1-for-14 in Duke's 23-point loss to Villanova on Friday night.

Henderson is the son of  Gerald Henderson Sr. one of the biggest villains in Laker history.

In the 1984 NBA finals, the Lakers were about to take a 2-0 lead in the series when Henderson intercepted James Worthy's lazy pass and scored the layup that sent the game to overtime. Boston prevailed and won the series in seven games.

"If it wasn't for me, they wouldn't have that 15th banner up there," Gerald Sr. told the Boston Globe last week.

He HAD to remind us.

OK, Laker fans, you can wake up now. Those 17 banners will be back up soon. And, with any luck, the Lakers will back on the parquet in June.

-- Chris Dufresne

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