Friday, September 09, 2005

Red Auerbach hospitalized again

87 year-old Red Auerbach, scion of the fabled Boston Celtics, has been hospitalized again. He has been in and out of the hospital over the past month for tests and a surgical procedure. The Celtic's spokesman would not divulge his condition or exact problems and the Auerbach family has asked for privacy.

Auerbach is considered the finest professional basketball coach in history as he not only coached but also built at least 4 different Celtic teams into NBA champions. He coached the Celtics to 9 titles in 16 years and then, as general manager of the team, built even more champions. He is noted for his "victory cigar" which he would light up inside the Boston Gardens when it became apparent that the Celts had won another game. He lit up a hell of a lot of cigars during his career, more than a thousand just as the coach. He has been a member of the NBA Hall of Fame since 1968. He may be most famous as a general manager for drafting Larry Bird when Bird still had a year to play at Indiana State. He took a huge gamble that he would be able to sign Bird to a contract before the one year limit was reached. If he had not, Boston would have lost the rights to Bird and he would have been re-drafted by another team. Auerbach and Bird reached an agreement, Auerbach lit up a cigar at the press conference and the rest is NBA history.

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