Auerbach, Red

Auerbach, Red

(Arnold Jacob Auerbach) (ou`ərbăk', –bäk'), 1917–2006, American basketball coach and executive, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. As coach of the Boston Celtics (1950–66), he built the last-place club into one of the most dominant teams in the history of professional sports with the help of players such as Bob CousyCousy, Bob
(Robert Joseph Cousy) , 1928–, American basketball player, b. New York City. During his career with the Boston Celtics (1951–63), Cousy established a reputation as the National Basketball Association's finest backcourt player, a brilliant playmaker of
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 and Bill RussellRussell, Bill
(William Felton Russell), 1934–, American basketball player, b. Monroe, La. Named an All-American while on the Univ. of San Francisco team, he played on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at the 1956 Olympics.
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. His Celtics won nine championships, eight consecutively (1957, 1959–66). Auerbach also broke the color bar in professional basketball, becoming the first NBA coach to draft (1950) an African American, and the first to field (1963–64) an all-black starting five. He retired as coach in 1966 with a career winning percentage of .662. His all-time record for wins as a coach (1,037, including playoff victories) was later broken by Lenny WilkensWilkens, Lenny
(Leonard Randolph Wilkens), 1937–, American basketball player and coach, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. After playing at Providence College, he joined the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1960, beginning a 15-year playing career with four
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. Auerbach also served as the team's general manager (1950–84) and president (1970–1997, 2001–6).

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1977); B. Russell, Red and Me (2009).

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