The Boston Celtics are the NBA’s gold standard, with 17 championship banners fastened to the roof of TD Garden and an 18th potentially on the way with the Celtics reaching the 2024 NBA Finals. But approximately 90 miles west, locked and sealed inside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, lies The Vault, chronicling the storied franchise’s continued success through an assemblage of exclusive memorabilia.

Each piece of memorabilia tells a story, whether it’s Bill Russell’s game-worn jersey from the 1965 Finals or the threads from a veteran Bill Walton and a rookie Jayson Tatum, who made his debut just seven years ago. Together, they showcase not only the continually evolving state of the franchise but the League, as well. The walls of the exhibit act as a journey through the organization’s history as displays transition from the extremely short shorts of decades past to today’s jerseys that are lighter and more boundary-pushing than ever and some not-so-short shorts to boot.

Altogether, the exhibition boasts 11 of Boston’s championship rings alongside the 1981 Larry O’Brien Trophy, Cedric Maxwell’s Finals MVP of the same year, and the defunct Walter Brown Trophy—awarded to the team that won the NBA Finals and passed from team to team until the 1975-76 season, when the Celtics were the last team to secure the trophy.

But ultimately, what connects these pieces of memorabilia, some of which have as much as 50 years of history between them, is the green-and-white that represents the team from New England. If you’re a Celtics fan or simply obsessed with basketball lore, The Vault inside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame holds all the knowledge for a limited time.

Photos via Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


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