UB takes on the issue of who was the better coach: Red or Phil?
Keep an eye out for a cameo by Red in this Miller Lite ad from the 80s
In 1956 Red trades Easy Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan to St. Louis for the second pick in the NBA draft, then works a deal with Rochester who had the #1 pick to guarantee appearances by the Walter Brown owned Ice Capades as long as they don't take Bill Russell #1. On advice taken from a friend on the West Coast, Red selects Russell #2 over all, having never seen him play live. Later in the draft Red takes Tommy Heinsohn. Red and Russell go on to lead the Celtics to 11 NBA titles in 13 years. The 5 time MVP also takes over for Red as head coach in 1967, becoming the 1st back head coach in any of the 4 major sports.
After delivering 9 strait Conference championships and 7 strait NBA titles, Red enters the 1965-66 season telling the rest of the league they get one last shot at knocking him down. As usual Red gets the last laugh, winning his 8th strait title. Career record: 938-479. Though Red is best known for lighting up victory cigars once the game was well in hand, much to the anger of the opposing team, stories of Red tampering with the visitor's locker room and installing new, stiff, nets when playing teams with a good fast break, only expand the legend. What is true was Red's creation of the 6th man, a system of bringing in a would-be starter off the bench early. The NBA soon follows suit and currently awards the 6th Man award every season.
After leaving as head coach Red becomes full time GM. In 1970 Red pulls the infamous "walk out" of a workout by Florida State center Dave Cowens. The move convinces other general managers in attendance that he wasn't impressed. Soon after Red drafts Cowens, who leads the Celtics to titles in 1974 and 1976. Two years later, in 1978, Red spends the 6th pick in the draft on the rights for Larry Bird, even though he knows Bird is returning to Indiana State for his Senior season. Though the Celtics stink in the upcoming season, Bird arrives to claim the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1979-80 and the biggest single season turn around in NBA history. From there Red trades the #1 pick in the 1980 draft to Golden State for underachieving Center Robert Parish and the #3 pick. The Warriors take Joe Barry Carroll, Red takes Kevin McHale. Bird, Parish and McHale lead the Cs to the 1980-81 title, before Red picks up Dennis Johnson in 1984 to round out 1984 and '86 title teams.
From there Red fades into semi-retirement, popping back up in disputes with Lenny Wilkens who passes him for wins and Phil Jackson who ties him with 9 NBA titles. In 2004 the final book on Red's life in basketball, co-written with John Feinstein, is published. It is called “Let Me Tell You A Story.” Red died at his home in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. Rest in peace Red, Greatest of them All...