Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach was an American basketball coach who is widely regarded as the brains behind the Boston Celtics’ success. He was one of the most successful coaches in the history of the game, leading his teams to a total of 938 victories, a record at the time of his retirement. He was a highly competitive player who would inspire his players to give their all and develop team cohesion. He was regarded as a modern basketball pioneer. As the Celtics’ general manager and team president, he won seven NBA championships thanks to his shrewd management abilities and keen judgment. He helped reinvent basketball as a team sport in which the entire team, not just a few outstanding players, dominated the game as a coach. Many of the players he coached went on to become members of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He helped to break down color barriers by sending the first African-American starting five in the 1960s, which was one of his most defining traits. He began playing basketball in high school and went on to George Washington University on a basketball scholarship as an athletic young man. Before being hired by Walter Brown, owner of the Boston Celtics, he began his coaching career by coaching high school teams.
Childhood and Adolescence
Hyman and Marie Auerbach gave birth to him. He was one of three siblings. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant who married Marie, a native of the United States. His parents were the proprietors of a delicatessen.
He began playing basketball when he was a child. He attended Eastern District High School and was a standout basketball player. He attended George Washington University on a basketball scholarship. In 1941, he received his M.A.
Career of Red Auerbach
He’d always wanted to teach and coach, so it’s no surprise that he started coaching basketball at St. Albans School and Roosevelt High School shortly after graduating in 1941. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 and spent three years coaching the Navy Basketball team in Norfolk. Mike Uline spotted him around this time and hired him to coach the Washington Capitols for the 1946-47 season.
For the 1949-1950 season, he joined the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, but resigned after his favorite player, John Mankhen, was traded by the Blackhawks. Before the 1950-1951 season, Walter Brown, the owner of the Boston Celtics, approached him about coaching his underperforming team. Auerbach made some significant modifications after joining the organization.
Chuck Cooper, the first African American player in an NBA team, was appointed by him, breaking the color barrier. He didn’t care about the race or color of his players; all he cared about were the greatest players on the team.
The Celtics finished with a 39-30 record under Auerbach’s direction, although they were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in 1951. He chose Bill Sharman for the following season. Along with Macauley and Cousy, the team gained a fresh vigour with the addition of Sharman.
The Celtics were frequently in the playoffs until 1956, but they never won a championship. Bill Russell, who would go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was one of his acquisitions. He emphasized team play and the importance of defense over offensive, determined to make his charges a successful team. He put in a lot of work with his guys and converted them into a tough team. His efforts paid off, as the Celtics went on to win nine of ten NBA titles, including eight in a row including six triumphs over the Los Angeles Lakers, beginning in 1957.
In 1964, Auerbach, who had made history by recruiting the first NBA black player, did it again by sending out the first ever NBA starting five, which had five black players. After winning nine championships in 11 years, he stepped down as coach in 1966 and replaced him with Bill Russell as player-coach, which was another first in NBA history because Russell was black.
The fact that ten of the players he coached went on to be elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame demonstrates the effectiveness of his coaching. Several of his players, such as Russell and Sharman, went on to become well-known coaches. After retiring as a coach, he became the Boston Celtics’ general manager, a position he held until 1984. He became the president of the Celtics after stepping down as general manager. He then became vice-chairman. He was a member of the team until his death in 2006. He’s also the author of seven basketball books, including the best-selling ‘Basketball for the Player, the Fan, and the Coach,’ which has been translated into seven languages.
Achievements & Awards
He was awarded the greatest coach in NBA history by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America (PBWAA) in 1980.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1941, he married Dorothy Lewis. Nancy and Randy were the couple’s two daughters. He lived a long and fruitful life and remained active till the end. At the age of 89, he died in 2006. The Celtics established the Arnold “Red” Auerbach Award in his honor in 2006. It is granted to Celtic players and coaches who best embody the spirit and meaning of the team.
Estimated Net Worth
Red is one of the wealthiest basketball coaches and one of the most well-known. Red Auerbach’s net worth is estimated to be $19 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Because of his flaming red hair, this basketball coach earned the moniker “Red.”