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Arnold "Red" Auerbach

Pushed Aside For Pitino

The Celtics in 1996-97 won only fifteen games, their worst season ever, and owner Paul Gaston summoned Pitino, who had coached Kentucky to the 1996 NCAA title and had revived the Knicks in the late 1980s. Pitino demanded control of team operations and Gaston demoted Auerbach to executive vice president. Pitino, meanwhile, was on billboards and bank commercials.

But the team, which hadn't made the playoffs since 1995, continued to falter and Pitino left in 2001. Gaston reinstated Auerbach as team president. "The mere fact that the Celtics had to trumpet his return speaks volumes about the damage incurred by Pitino's regime," Stringer wrote.

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Famous Sports StarsBasketballArnold "Red" Auerbach Biography - Born In Brooklyn, Boston Era Begins, Celtics Mystique, Russell First Black Coach, Abrasive Personality