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Arnold "Red" Auerbach

Where Is He Now?

Auerbach still lives in Washington—solo, since his longtime wife, Dorothy, died in 2000. He occasionally visits Boston and the Celtics. His personal interests include Chinese food, lobster and mystery novels.

National television cameras showed Auerbach in the FleetCenter stands—he always preferred sitting with fans than in luxury boxes—in the 2002 playoffs as Boston made its best postseason showing in thirteen years, winning two rounds before dropping the Eastern Conference final to the New Jersey Nets.

The ornery side of Auerbach re-emerged in June, 2002, when the Lakers' third straight championship (and 14th overall, two behind the Celtics) gave Phil Jackson his ninth NBA title as a coach, matching Auerbach. Jackson also won six championships with the Bulls.

Auerbach said Jackson merely inherited Chicago and Los Angeles teams on the threshold of winning big. "Most of your great coaches do some teaching and developing of players," Auerbach said. "Phil may be able to do it, but he hasn't shown it. His teams have been ready-made. He hasn't been faced with having nothing personnel and being forced to develop them into winners." Jackson, in response, said Auerbach and his cigar-blowing ways always irritated him.

"Like Jackson, Red has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with his arrogance, including his customary lighting of the victory cigar, but Auerbach is the genuine article," Jennifer Cooper wrote on the CNN-Sports Illustrated Web site, cnnsi.com. "What you see is what you get, even if you don't care for the smoke he's blowing."

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