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Book by Shaughnessy, Dan, Bird, Larry
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Another work of Boston sports hagiography from one of the jock beat's leading home teamers. For nearly 40 years, Arnold ``Red'' Auerbach ran the show, trademark cigar in hand, for the emerald-clad Boston Celtics. Serving as coach from 1950 to 1966, then as general manager and unopposed despot until 1990 or so (he is still on the payroll as a consultant), Red guided the Hub's beloved Jolly Green Giants to 16 NBA championships, including an amazing streak of titles running from 195966. So successful was the team that Auerbach's effective coaching and astute talent assessment--he acquired many of the game's greatest players, including Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, and Larry Bird (who wrote the book's foreword)--were dismissed by foes as ``The Celtics Mystique.'' During Red's time at the top, the NBA grew from a barnstorming curiosity to a multi- billion-dollar global enterprise, and it would be hard to overstate his influence on the game--but Shaughnessy (The Curse of the Bambino, 1990) very nearly succeeds. While he does show Auerbach's cantankerous and occasionally pig-headed side, the author essentially presents to readers little more than a mash note loaded with anecdotes about Red's cigar-chompin', ref-baitin', hell- drivin' virtuosity. Not merely a great x's and o's guy (the NBA annually presents the Red Auerbach award to its outstanding coach), he is in Shaughnessy's presentation basketball's Moses, the man who led the game out of darkness. Non-Celtics fans might want to skim many passages to get to the parts where Red sagely catalogues the game's changes--for example, his observation that ballplayers ``used to come to practice with gym bags; now they come with attach‚ cases.'' At 77, Red has slowed a bit: He's no longer the preeminent judge of talent, and he's down to two or three stogies a day. But as long as guys like Shaughnessy can hold a pen, it's always Red's game; anyone else just came to play. (8 pages photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Larry, Michael, Doc, and Magic may have made the National Basketball Association what it is today, but if it wasn't for Red Auerbach, there might not have been an NBA. Now in his late seventies, Auerbach remains the team president of the Boston Celtics, who won 11 titles in 13 years during one stretch in the 1950s and 1960s. Auerbach's signature was all over those teams: he coached the Celtics to nine titles and was the general manager for the rest. Among the stars he acquired and nurtured over the years are Bill Russell (perhaps the best player ever), Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Along the way, Auerbach has also alienated his peers with his successes and his arrogance. Shaughnessy, a columnist for the Boston Globe, explores Auerbach's career, warts and all. He supplies quotes and anecdotes from Auerbach's friends, foes, and neutral observers. The consensus: Red is loyal but sometimes unforgiving; he's honest but not above tilting the wheel his way; he's a basketball genius but damn lucky, too. He's everything you'd expect in a living legend, and Shaughnessy certainly does him justice. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description Adams Media Corp, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1558505482