Sunday, October 29, 2006

Auerbach, pride of the Celtics, dies

Photo shows Red Auerbach with his famous cigar. He lit up to celebrate Celtic victories. (Boston Globe File Photo).


Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who for more than half a century was the combative, competitive, and occasionally abrasive personification of pro basketball's greatest dynasty, the Boston Celtics, died yesterday in the Washington area. He was 89.

He died of a heart attack, the Associated Press reported, according to an NBA source who did not want to be identified.

In two decades of National Basketball Association coaching, Auerbach won 938 games, a record when he retired in 1966, as well as a record nine NBA championship titles, a number he shares with Phil Jackson. In those 20 years, 16 with the Celtics, Auerbach had only one losing season while winning almost two-thirds of his games.

For those of us in the Boston area Auerbach was a true legend.