Sunday, October 29, 2006
A Legend Passes: RIP Red Auerbach
One of the fiercest combatants in the history of the NBA is battling no more. Auerbach passed away yesterday. Peter May reflects in the Boston Globe:
Auerbach was fiercely competitive, sometimes to the point of boorishness. It was Auerbach who would break out a celebratory cigar during Celtics home games -- never on the road -- when it was clear his team had won. He once had a writer's seat moved from the floor to an upper box at Boston Garden because of an unfavorable story. He ordered a complimentary mention of Cedric Maxwell to be excised from one of his books after he felt Maxwell betrayed him.NBA.com is all over the story, and has a tribute video.
In 1984, Auerbach was invited to coach an old-timers team in the All-Star Game and was ejected for arguing with the officials. In his early years as the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern would joke to friends that he felt his real first name was "Stupid" because of all the conversations he had with Auerbach.
Whether it was tennis, racquetball, basketball, knowledge of Chinese cuisine, or simply having the final word, Auerbach was relentless. As former player agent Ron Grinker once said of Auerbach, "Red plays chess. The other general managers play checkers."