As the NBA Finals have shifted to Boston, the term ‘The Garden’ is being thrown around loosely. There can only be one ‘Garden,’ and it’s where the New York Knicks play. There’s only room for one and that’s just the way things go.
It’s a typical argument to be had between sports fans from Boston and New York. The two cities just don’t care for each other and it begins with sports. I’m even convinced both accents were just made up to further promote the rivalry back in the Revolutionary War days.
Oh, and of course, Twitter’s got a part in it too…
The real Garden is the home of the New York Knicks, not the Celtics
So, in classic rivalry style, every little thing gets debated. And that even means whether Madison Square Garden or TD Garden should be appropriately referred to as ‘The Garden.’
History of the Building
Both Gardens have changed quite a bit throughout the years. TD Garden was previously the ‘Boston Garden,’ and to make matters even more confusing, was originally named the ‘Boston Madison Square Garden’ back in 1928.
Way to be clever, copycats.
THE Madison Square Garden opened in 1879 and is now on its fourth building, constructed in 1964. So, if we’re going by who planted their Garden first, New York City takes the cake by a few decades.
Iconic Sports Moments
Here’s where Boston fans have a little bit of a claim. The Celtics have 17 NBA championships to their name and the Knicks just have two. That only separates the competition just a little bit. Add an 18th this year and it’s just one more step down the ladder for New York.
But here’s the thing. While the Boston Bruins have also won their fair share of titles, MSG has a wide variety of other sports lore that has gone down under its ceiling.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier boxed there in one of the greatest fights of all time. The Big East Tournament, the most iconic college basketball tournament other than March Madness itself, plays each year inside Madison Square Garden.
That’s still not enough to overtake what the C’s have done, but it’s food for thought, and at least keeps TD Garden from running away with the competition.
When you walk into TD Garden for a sports event, the energy is insane. The winning culture Boston has almost instantly ups it from any other arena. I went to Game 2 between the Celtics and the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was electric from tip to finish, and that’s saying something because nearly the entire building stayed to watch Boston pummel Milwaukee.
When you walk into Madison Square Garden, it’s a whole different aura. The luxury is incomparable to any other arena I’ve been in.
Go to any Knicks game and you’re bound to see some celebrities on press row. It could be a New York vs. Detroit game in mid-March for all I care and there will be SOMEONE of notoriety sitting courtside. And take one look up at the iconic ceiling and I guarantee you’ll faint from euphoria.
Wrapping it up
All of this is to say that what Boston has going on inside TD Garden is better than most arenas out there. It’s a special place and certainly has a lot of moments to write home about.
But if we’re going to choose ONE place to call ‘THE Garden,’ look no further than 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, New York, baby. It’s the city of dreams and MSG is right in the center of it all.
So, the fans piling into TD Garden for the 2022 NBA Finals can have their fun. But the Knicks are a fanbase aching for ANYTHING to hold on to, so don’t take our name, too. It’s The Garden, baby!