Red Auerbach, who coached the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships, died Saturday in the Washington D.C. area, the Celtics announced.
There's not really a story to link to...that's just the headline on cbssportsline.com
10-28-2006, 09:36 PM
Sad. The guy is a basketball legend
10-28-2006, 09:38 PM
Bet money that Phil Jackson is smirking somewhere.
10-28-2006, 09:48 PM
Bet money that Phil Jackson is smirking somewhere.
If he is he can suck a turd.
RIP to a legend. :(
10-28-2006, 10:22 PM
Red was great for the game of basketball. All basketball fans should have a moment of silence out of respect for a true legend. Time to light up a cigar in his memory.
10-28-2006, 11:23 PM
Unfortunate but inevitable. He was one of the all time greats and he will always be remembered by any true basketball fan.
10-28-2006, 11:41 PM
R.I.P. To a Basketball legend
From Yahoo Sports
Celtics patriarch Auerbach dies at 89
October 29, 2006
BOSTON (Ticker) - Red Auerbach, the cigar-smoking godfather of the NBA who turned the Boston Celtics into the most dominant dynasty in pro sports history, died Saturday. He was 89.
Auerbach, who had been in ill health for some time, "passed away suddenly," according to the Celtics' statement. The team has refrained in the past from giving details on his condition out of respect for his family.
"Nobody has had as much impact on a sport as Red Auerbach had on the game of basketball," former Celtics star and current broadcaster Tom Heinsohn said. "He was a pioneer of the NBA. He left his philosophy of winning championships, playing hard and playing as a team with several generations of players."
In 1950, Auerbach joined the Celtics as the franchise's third coach and also served as general manager, president and vice chairman of the board.
Auerbach guided the Celtics to their first championship as a coach-general manager in 1957 and an unprecedented eight straight titles from 1959-66, elevating them above such sports dynasties as the New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens for consecutive championships.
Known for lighting up a cigar on the bench after victories, Auerbach retired as coach after the eighth straight title and appointed center Bill Russell as player-coach, but remained the team's general manager through the 1983-84 season and served as president from 1970-97 and then again starting in 2001.
From 1957-69, the Celtics won 11 championships in 13 seasons. They added five more titles in 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984 and 1986 for an NBA-high total of 16.
Among other innovations, Auerbach developed the notion of the sixth man, a player who came off the bench and contributed just as much as a starter. From Frank Ramsey to John Havlicek to Don Nelson to Kevin McHale, the Celtics always seemed to have an extra player that other teams lacked.
Auerbach also was a huge proponent of the fast break. With "Houdini of the Hardwood" Bob Cousy and later K.C. Jones primarily at the controls, the Celtics never averaged fewer than 112.7 points during their eight-year title run.
"I think (Auerbach) was an absolute giant in the field," Cousy said. "I have been around a lot of competitive people, but his commitment to winning was absolute - nothing was more important. He was relentless and produced the greatest basketball dynasty so far that this country has ever seen, and certainly that the NBA has ever seen."
Auerbach also had a keen eye for talent. He traded established star Ed Macauley and the draft rights to future star Cliff Hagan to the St. Louis Hawks for the rights to Russell, a skinny center from San Francisco who developed into the only player who could slow down Wilt Chamberlain and became the greatest winner in sports history, never losing a Game Seven while collecting 11 championship rings in 13 seasons.
When the Celtics had wrapped up another victory and time wound down, Auerbach would infuriate foes by lighting up a cigar while sitting on the bench. Years later, a deep reserve named Stojko Vrankovic who only played in blowouts was dubbed by the Boston media as the "Human Victory Cigar."
After Auerbach stepped down as coach, he remained as general manager and continued to swing one-sided deals. In 1978, he ignored his struggling team's pressing needs and drafted junior-eligible Larry Bird one year early. He signed him before the following draft, laying the foundation for three more championships in the 1980s.
Alongside Bird in perhaps the greatest frontcourt in league annals were McHale and center Robert Parish, who astoundingly were acquired in the same trade in 1980. Auerbach dealt two first-round picks to the Golden State Warriors for Parish and a draft pick he used to select McHale.
Although he had moved away from the court, Auerbach's competitive spirit never wavered. The Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers engaged in a heated rivalry in the 1980s, and Auerbach came out of his seat at Boston Garden to challenge 76ers 6-11 center Moses Malone to a fight - during an exhibition game.
The Celtics stumbled after Bird's retirement in 1992. Five years later, Auerbach was shoved aside as Rick Pitino became coach and president of the proud franchise. They have not been back to the NBA Finals since.
Phil Jackson is the only other coach to win nine NBA titles - six with the Chicago Bulls and three with the Los Angeles Lakers.
When Jackson was approaching Auerbach's record, there was considerable tension between the two. Auerbach criticized Jackson for relying on superstars Michael Jordan with the Bulls and Shaquille O'Neal with the Lakers to win championships, conveniently forgetting that he had Russell, one of the greatest players of all-time, at his disposal. However, the two legendary coaches later made their peace.
Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968, Auerbach retired with a record of 938-479 in the regular season and 99-69 in the playoffs.
Auerbach, a native of Brooklyn, New York, began his coaching career with the Washington Capitols from 1946-49. He spent the following campaign with the Tri-Cities Hawks before joining the Celtics in 1950.
Auerbach won his only Coach of the Year award in 1965, capturing the trophy that now bears his name. He also won the Executive of the Year award in 1980, the same year he also was selected as the "Greatest Coach in the History of the NBA" by the Pro Basketball Writers Association of America.
Over the years, Auerbach received seven honorary degrees from various institutions, including his alma mater, George Washington, where he played for three seasons.
An author of seven books, Auerbach also combined with Bird to produce the instructional video "Winning Basketball" in 1987. He once proclaimed "the Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."
Auerbach, who made his last public appearance on October 25, is survived by two daughters, one granddaughter and three great-grandchildren.
Updated on Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 12:18 am EDT
10-29-2006, 12:34 AM
Such sad news. Another legend gone.
10-29-2006, 12:36 AM
Sad to hear this :(
10-29-2006, 01:13 AM
really sad, sad news. to get a good read on his life, check out the book, "Let me tell you a story" by John Feinstein. Red will be missed, big time. RIP man.
10-29-2006, 01:25 AM
I never really liked the Celtics...or people that smoke cigars.
10-29-2006, 02:52 AM
I don't know if the NBA would ever have survived if not for him. The dude was a legend. I salute him.
10-29-2006, 04:38 PM
I thought he was already dead a year ago...
I'll smoke one for you big Red...
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