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On This Day In Sports: Basketball Legend Arnold “Red” Auerbach Dies

On this day in sports: October 28, 2006 Basketball Legend Arnold “Red” Auerbach dies at the age of 89. Regarded as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, Red lead the Boston Celtics franchise to a total of 16 NBA World Championships, 9 as a Head Coach and 7 as General Manager/Team President. Prior to Auerbach’s arrival as Head Coach, the Celtics were considered one of the lousiest teams in the now expanded NBA. From his first year at the helm, 1950, Red made headlines by drafting Chuck Copper, who was the  first African American player to be drafted by any of the leagues 11 franchises.

For the next 6 years Auerbach’s Celtics would make steady improvements year after year, as he emphasized the need to get his type of players to play his type of basketball. Unfortunately the team was never able to achieve success in the playoffs until the arrival of 6’9″ Bill Russell, who was picked up with the 2nd pick of the 1956 NBA Draft. It wasn’t until Russell was teamed up with Auerbach’s already assembled Hall of Fame roster that the “Dynasty” was complete and the Boston Celtics would go on to win 9 of  the next 11 NBA Championships.

At the close of the 2009 – 2010 NBA Season, Auerbach ranked 9th in “All Time Coaching Wins”, 5th in “All Time Win Percentage” (Min. 500 Games) with a winning percentage of .662, and 2nd only to Phil Jackson in “World Championships As A Head Coach”. Red can also be credited for coaching 9 players (Frank Ramsey, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell, K. C. Jones, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and Bailey Howell) into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is also a record.

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October 28, 2010 - Posted by | NBA, NCAA Basketball, This Day In Sports, Uncategorized

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