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wolfdancer
10-30-2006, 10:42 AM
Auerbach was simply the best

10/30/2006
By BOB DICESARE

There's only one figure in the history of sports who can claim to be smarter than Red Auerbach and that was Walter Brown, the owner bright enough to hire him.

Who had a clue when the Boston Celtics signed Auerbach off his only losing season as a coach that they were getting someone who knew basketball the way Rembrandt knew oils? If computers had been his gig we might never have heard of Bill Gates because Auerbach was as shrewd as they come, a man blessed with such keen foresight he often appeared psychic as he turned the Celtics into the major sports dynasty that still trumps all others.

Auerbach, who died Saturday at 89, was to hardwood what Les Paul was to guitars, fooling with tweaks and twangs with results that resonate to this day. It was Auerbach who drafted the first black player into the NBA, selecting Chuck Cooper in 1950. It was Auerbach who broke free of convention and lifted the NBA out of its stationary doldrums by sizing up the wondrous talents of Bob Cousy and concluding, "Gentlemen, start you engines." Say hello to the full-fledged arrival of the fast break.

Auerbach's competitive fire was a five-alarm blaze that raged eternal, and sometimes uncontrollably. He was fined $300 during the 1957 playoffs for putting a fist to the face of St. Louis Hawks owner Ben Kerner. He came out of the stands in 1983 to join in a fracas between Larry Bird and Philly's Marc Iavaroni. So long as the moment involved basketball Red was prone to seeing red. In 1967 he received a pair of technical fouls and was ejected - from the NBA All-Star Game.

There were two sides to Auerbach, one that spewed volcanic intensity and one that operated in a world of cool and detached calculation. Some say he was a gambler but Auerbach cashed far too many bets far too often for his moves to have been construed as risks.

He acquired the rights to Hall of Fame guard Bill Sharman from Detroit in 1951 when everyone thought Sharman was set on a career in baseball. In 1956, Auerbach parted with his starting center, Ed Macauley, along with Cliff Hagan to obtain a first-round pick from St. Louis. And that's how Bill Russell, the most influential center in the history of the game, became the integral piece of a Celtic dynasty that would win eight straight NBA titles starting in 1959.

Auerbach's skill as a general manager long outlived his desire to coach. He stepped away from the bench following the 1966 season, another championship secured, and concentrated on finding the pieces to perpetuate Boston's winning ways. He stole center Dave Cowens with the fourth pick of the 1970 draft. In 1978 he spent the franchise's first-round pick, No. 6 overall, on a draft-eligible Indiana State junior by the name of Bird. His final grand stroke came before the draft of 1980, when the Celtics dealt two first-round draft picks, including the first overall, to Golden State for center Robert Parish and the third overall pick. He converted the selection into Kevin McHale, and just like that the Celtics had a front court unrivaled before or since.

Auerbach knew he was a master craftsman, and he made sure others knew it, too. He sniped when Phil Jackson tied his record by coaching a ninth championship team, charging Jackson with slipping into ideal situations and taking over teams already primed for success. And, truth is, he had a point.

Auerbach was the complete deal, an expert coach who demanded discipline, a prescient architect with a futuristic mind, 16 titles to his credit. And if it stuck in the craw of rivals when he lit up that trademark victory cigar, so be it. They had recourse. Beat him.
web page (http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20061030/1000482.asp)

dg-in-centralpa
10-30-2006, 03:06 PM
"Auerbach knew he was a master craftsman, and he made sure others knew it, too. He sniped when Phil Jackson tied his record by coaching a ninth championship team, charging Jackson with slipping into ideal situations and taking over teams already primed for success. And, truth is, he had a point."

While Phil Jackson did his wins in sets of threes, Red did his, if I remember correctly, in a row. Nine championships in a row. Even though his record of victories has been broken, they don't have the charisma as Red. He will be missed.

DG

wolfdancer
10-30-2006, 04:55 PM
Dg, I was lucky enough to be a life long Celts fan...then lucky enough to live in Boston during Auerbach's time. the Laker's might extend the series to 7 games but then they "folded like a cheap suit"
I was glad that two of my favorite players got to play part of their careers for the Celtics
Bill Walton and Pete Maravich.
Larry (the legend) Bird was something else...but John Havlicek epitomized Celtic Spirit.
Hope Red is still enjoying them cigars in the afterlife

dg-in-centralpa
10-30-2006, 06:42 PM
I became a Celtics fan during the Bird years. Prior, I hated them because they always beat the Lakers with Chamberlain. I was a big fan of the early 70's Lakers. I finally got to see the Celtics at the Spectrum in Philly when they played the Sixers. Except that Bird, the main reason I went, didn't play due to his back problems.

DG

hondo
10-31-2006, 08:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Auerbach was simply the best

10/30/2006
By BOB DICESARE

There's only one figure in the history of sports who can claim to be smarter than Red Auerbach and that was Walter Brown, the owner bright enough to hire him.

Who had a clue when the Boston Celtics signed Auerbach off his only losing season as a coach that they were getting someone who knew basketball the way Rembrandt knew oils? If computers had been his gig we might never have heard of Bill Gates because Auerbach was as shrewd as they come, a man blessed with such keen foresight he often appeared psychic as he turned the Celtics into the major sports dynasty that still trumps all others.

Auerbach, who died Saturday at 89, was to hardwood what Les Paul was to guitars, fooling with tweaks and twangs with results that resonate to this day. It was Auerbach who drafted the first black player into the NBA, selecting Chuck Cooper in 1950. It was Auerbach who broke free of convention and lifted the NBA out of its stationary doldrums by sizing up the wondrous talents of Bob Cousy and concluding, "Gentlemen, start you engines." Say hello to the full-fledged arrival of the fast break.

Auerbach's competitive fire was a five-alarm blaze that raged eternal, and sometimes uncontrollably. He was fined $300 during the 1957 playoffs for putting a fist to the face of St. Louis Hawks owner Ben Kerner. He came out of the stands in 1983 to join in a fracas between Larry Bird and Philly's Marc Iavaroni. So long as the moment involved basketball Red was prone to seeing red. In 1967 he received a pair of technical fouls and was ejected - from the NBA All-Star Game.

There were two sides to Auerbach, one that spewed volcanic intensity and one that operated in a world of cool and detached calculation. Some say he was a gambler but Auerbach cashed far too many bets far too often for his moves to have been construed as risks.

He acquired the rights to Hall of Fame guard Bill Sharman from Detroit in 1951 when everyone thought Sharman was set on a career in baseball. In 1956, Auerbach parted with his starting center, Ed Macauley, along with Cliff Hagan to obtain a first-round pick from St. Louis. And that's how Bill Russell, the most influential center in the history of the game, became the integral piece of a Celtic dynasty that would win eight straight NBA titles starting in 1959.

Auerbach's skill as a general manager long outlived his desire to coach. He stepped away from the bench following the 1966 season, another championship secured, and concentrated on finding the pieces to perpetuate Boston's winning ways. He stole center Dave Cowens with the fourth pick of the 1970 draft. In 1978 he spent the franchise's first-round pick, No. 6 overall, on a draft-eligible Indiana State junior by the name of Bird. His final grand stroke came before the draft of 1980, when the Celtics dealt two first-round draft picks, including the first overall, to Golden State for center Robert Parish and the third overall pick. He converted the selection into Kevin McHale, and just like that the Celtics had a front court unrivaled before or since.

Auerbach knew he was a master craftsman, and he made sure others knew it, too. He sniped when Phil Jackson tied his record by coaching a ninth championship team, charging Jackson with slipping into ideal situations and taking over teams already primed for success. And, truth is, he had a point.

Auerbach was the complete deal, an expert coach who demanded discipline, a prescient architect with a futuristic mind, 16 titles to his credit. And if it stuck in the craw of rivals when he lit up that trademark victory cigar, so be it. They had recourse. Beat him.
web page (http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20061030/1000482.asp) <hr /></blockquote>


Wolfie, we are in total agreement again. Red, Russell,
Cousy, Hondo, Bird, McHale, Cowens. THAT was basketball!

hondo
10-31-2006, 08:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Dg, I was lucky enough to be a life long Celts fan...then lucky enough to live in Boston during Auerbach's time. the Laker's might extend the series to 7 games but then they "folded like a cheap suit"
I was glad that two of my favorite players got to play part of their careers for the Celtics
Bill Walton and Pete Maravich.
Larry (the legend) Bird was something else...but John Havlicek epitomized Celtic Spirit.
Hope Red is still enjoying them cigars in the afterlife
<hr /></blockquote>


Wouldn't it have been neat to have seen a healthy
Walton &amp; Maravich playing for the Celtics?