PROFILE OF A COACH…RED AUERBACH
by Will McDonough
The man had lost his cool.
He was not Arnold (Red) Auerbach of the steel trap mind. He was more like a kid who pulled a fast one and got away with it.
It happened in the dressing room after Auerbach's final victory, when for the first time, this hard-bitten hot-head showed he could be: Silly, giddy and completely childish.
This was the Auerbach no one had ever seen in 20 years of coaching, and the Auerbach no one will ever see again.
"Sure I lost my composure," he admitted the next day, nursing a non-liquor hangover.
"I felt such a great satisfaction in going out a winner, that everything came right out of me. I had everything right up to here," he said placing hands over head, "and that's the way it came out.
My quitting was different.
The average coach wins and then quits. Like he wins his last game and then announces it's over.
That way no one gets another shot at you.
… I gave them all a chance. I announced it was over when my team was riddled with injuries and with plenty of time for the other teams to beat me if they could.
As it turned out, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Los Angeles had the shot and couldn't do it. That's why it felt so good. I didn't sneak away. They had their shots and couldn't beat me…
Boston Sunday Globe, May 1, 1966