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Let the gray go

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As Nike shelves the infamous sleeved jerseys that LeBron James famously tarnished, the Celtics should follow suit and rip apart the parquet pride look.

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NBA: Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Nike is done with the sleeves. The Wall Street Journal reported that when the athletic giant unveils its designs for the future of big-league basketball apparel—apparel which will be harder to acquire—free arms will be back in style.

It’s unclear what this means for the parquet pride jerseys. With Adidas gone it’s fair to assume the gray Cs uniforms will cease to exist as well. Covered in a solid gray base from head to toe, mixed with outlines of green and capped off with white letters, the Cs have mixed in these sleeved alternatives often since late 2014.

Adidas was behind the creation, likely in hopes of boosting jersey sales at a time when the only Celtics jerseys you’d find in a typical sports store were (gulp) #9 Rajon Rondo unis. Those are generously discounted now.

Hopefully all parquet pride shirts will be on discount soon too, as in discontinued.

According to a release prior to the November 2014 debut, the shirt alludes to the parquet in that it, “features a green and white Celtics wordmark on a (gray) background with parquet-inspired piping down the sides.”

When I think of the parquet, I think of a shiny, wooden glow as bright as gold—not a dreary grey that resembles a cloudy day.

They’re not the worst uniforms in sports. In fact, when the Celts go up against an opponent also draped in “throwbacks” (still not sure how ours applies to Boston basketball history) they are usually the sharper-looking bunch.

Those Toronto Huskies alternatives in Canada and the Indiana Hickory bright-red looks are almost enough to force a channel change. But I’ll never look away when the Cs are playing.

The point is the Celtics don’t seem like a team that needs these sleeved uniforms. The bright white home uniform and iconic green road jerseys that mix between white and black letters are staples. Those are the ones with historic value, they’ve been worn forever.

It felt like the team was riding the wave of 19 franchises buying into sleeveless. Fans in general have not come out in droves to buy uniforms in the model of t-shirts. The league and Adidas saw it as a genius middle ground where they could haul in the price tag of uniforms with the allure of the cheaper t-shirts with player names on the back many prefer for armpit protection. Instead everybody kept purchasing the $30-40 t-shirts.

Parquet pride wasn’t a complete flop. I just know myself and many others won’t be sad to see them go if this is the end.