Kyrie unsure of safety of Bucks replica court

MILWAUKEE — Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving expressed concern about the throwback court the team will play on Thursday night when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

The Bucks are hosting a “Return to the MECCA” night, referencing the former name of the arena, where the team played from 1977-1988. The Bucks went so far as to have a court painted in the bright multi-color fashion of the original Robert Indiana-designed floor.

Irving seemed a bit concerned after walking across the court before Boston’s morning shootaround on Thursday.

“I’m all about safety, so we’ll see how it is on my knees, see how it is on everyone’s bodies,” said Irving. “I know this is a pretty older court and it looks like it’s fresh painted as well. I’m just going to do my assessment and go from there.”

When a reporter suggested it’s a newer court that was simply painted, Irving remained skeptical.

“It took me three steps to realize this is not the same NBA court I’m used to playing on,” said Irving. “We’ll see what’s up.”

The Bucks, celebrating their 50th season this year, said the court being used Thursday was painted by ProStar Surfaces, the official floor contractor and supplier of the Milwaukee Bucks, and was provided by Connor Sports. The paint was supplied by Bona.

Most Celtics players were simply intrigued by the bright colors and different shapes on the court. Al Horford snapped some photos on his iPhone before shootaround and teammates commented on the brightness of the surface.

“It’s a fun game to celebrate the history of basketball here in Milwaukee and certainly in the NBA,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who is no stranger to the arena while trekking here annually when he was coach of Butler University. “It’s always fun to be a part of stuff like this. But our focus has to be on playing the game.”

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