Arnold "Red" Auerbach
Following the Celtics' thirteenth championship in 1976, the team struggled for three seasons, and worse, Auerbach had major problems with owner John Y. Brown (no relation to Walter Brown). Brown, who later became governor of Kentucky, was highly intrusive and even sarcastically addressed Auerbach as "Living Legend" during staff meetings.
The tension escalated in February, 1979, when Brown, reportedly without Auerbach's consent, obtained the talented but troublesome McAdoo from the New York Knicks. Auerbach then considered the unthinkable to Boston fans—an offer as Knicks general manager. "We had a collective heart attack," Simmons wrote. "Red was leaving? He's leaving??? Everywhere he went, people urged him to stay: cab drivers, waiters, gas station attendants, people on the street. He stayed."
Brown's sale of the team to Harry Mangurian made the decision easier. Then, in October, 1979, Larry Bird began another glorious Celtics era, Boston winning championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986.
But after the third championship of the Bird era, tragedy befell the Boston organization. The Celtics drafted Len Bias from the University of Maryland in 1986—Auerbach and Maryland coach Charles "Lefty" Driesell were close friends and Bias had worked as a counselor in Auerbach's summer camp in Marshfield, Mass.—and two days after Boston drafted him second overall, Bias died in Washington, D.C. of a cocaine overdose. Another Celtic would die seven years later when star guard Reggie Lewis collapsed with a heart problem during a playoff game and died during the summer while working out.
- Arnold "Red" Auerbach - Seeing Red After All These Years
- Arnold "Red" Auerbach - Awards And Accomplishments
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