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The Info List - Red Auerbach


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As head coach:

NBA
NBA
champion (1957, 1959–1966) NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
(1965) 11× NBA
NBA
All-Star Game head coach (1957–1967) Top 10 Coaches in NBA
NBA
History

As executive:

NBA
NBA
champion (1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986) NBA Executive of the Year (1980)

Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame as coach

Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006)[1] was an American basketball coach of the Washington Capitols, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Tri-Cities Blackhawks
and the Boston
Boston
Celtics. After he retired from coaching, he served as president and front office executive of the Celtics until his death. As a coach, he won 938 games (a record at his retirement)[1] and nine National Basketball
Basketball
Association (NBA) championships in ten years (a number surpassed only by Phil Jackson, who won 11 in twenty years). As general manager and team president of the Celtics, he won an additional seven NBA
NBA
titles, for a grand total of 16 in a span of 29 years,[2] making him one of the most successful team officials in the history of North American professional sports. Auerbach is remembered as a pioneer of modern basketball, redefining basketball as a game dominated by team play and defense and for introducing the fast break as a potent offensive weapon.[2] He groomed many players who went on to be inducted into the Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame. Additionally, Auerbach was vital in breaking down color barriers in the NBA. He made history by drafting the first African-American
African-American
NBA player, Chuck Cooper in 1950, introduced the first African-American starting five in 1964,[3] and hired the first African-American
African-American
head coach in North American sports ( Bill Russell
Bill Russell
in 1966).[4] Famous for his polarizing nature, he was well known for smoking a cigar when he thought a victory was assured, a habit that became, for many, "the ultimate symbol of victory" during his Boston
Boston
tenure.[2] In 1967, the NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
award, which he had won in 1965, was named the " Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Trophy", and Auerbach was inducted into the Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame in 1969.[1] In 1980, he was named the greatest coach in the history of the NBA
NBA
by the Professional Basketball
Basketball
Writers Association of America,[5] and was NBA
NBA
Executive of the Year in 1980.[1] In addition, Auerbach was voted one of the NBA
NBA
10 Greatest Coaches in history, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and is honored with a retired number 2 jersey in the TD Garden, the home of the Boston
Boston
Celtics.

Contents

1 Early life 2 First coaching years (1941–1950) 3 Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
(1950–2006)

3.1 The early years (1950–56) 3.2 The dynasty (1956–66) 3.3 General manager (1966–84) 3.4 President and vice chairman (1984–2006)

4 Personal life

4.1 Death

5 Writing 6 Legacy

6.1 Coaching pioneer 6.2 No color barrier 6.3 Arnold "Red" Auerbach Award 6.4 NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
Award 6.5 NBA

7 See also 8 References 9 Notes 10 External links

Early life[edit] Arnold Jacob Auerbach was one of the four children of Marie and Hyman Auerbach. Hyman was a Russian-Jewish
Russian-Jewish
immigrant from Minsk, Russia, and Marie Auerbach, née Thompson, was American-born. Auerbach Sr. had left Russia when he was 13,[6] and the couple owned a delicatessen store and later went into the dry-cleaning business. Little Arnold spent his whole childhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, playing basketball. With his flaming red hair and fiery temper, Auerbach was soon nicknamed "Red."[2] Amid the Great Depression, Red played basketball at PS 122 and in the Eastern District High School, where he was named "Second Team All-Brooklyn" by the World-Telegram in his senior year. Auerbach received an athletic scholarship to the basketball program of Bill Reinhart at George Washington University
George Washington University
in Washington, D.C.[2] Auerbach was a standout basketball player and graduated with a M.A. in 1941.[6] In those years, Auerbach began to understand the importance of the fast break, appreciating how potent three charging attackers against two back-pedalling defenders could be.[2] First coaching years (1941–1950)[edit] In 1941, Auerbach began coaching basketball at the St. Albans School and Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C.[6] Two years later, he joined the US Navy for three years, coaching the Navy basketball team in Norfolk. There, he caught the eye of Washington millionaire Mike Uline, who hired him to coach the Washington Capitols in the newly founded Basketball
Basketball
Association of America (BAA), a predecessor of the NBA.[2] In the 1946–47 BAA season, Auerbach led a fast break-oriented team built around early BAA star Bones McKinney
Bones McKinney
and various ex-Navy players to a 49–11 win–loss record, including a standard-setting 17-game winning streak that stood as the single-season league record until 1969. In the playoffs, however, they were defeated by the Chicago Stags in six games.[6] The next year the Capitols went 28–20[6] but were eliminated from the playoffs in a one-game Western Division tie-breaker.[2] In the 1948–49 BAA season, the Caps won their first 15 games and finished the season at 38–22.[6] The team reached the BAA Finals, but were beaten by the Minneapolis Lakers, who were led by Hall-of-Fame center George Mikan. In the next season, the BAA and the rival league National Basketball
Basketball
League merged to become the NBA, and Auerbach felt he had to rebuild his squad. However, owner Uline declined his proposals, and Auerbach resigned.[2] After leaving the Capitols, Auerbach became assistant coach of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
team.[7] It was assumed that Auerbach would take over for head coach Gerry Gerard, who was battling cancer. During his tenure at Duke, Auerbach regularly worked with future All-American Dick Groat. Auerbach later wrote that he "felt pretty bad waiting for [Gerard] to die" and that it was "no way to get a job".[8] Auerbach left Duke after a few months when Ben Kerner, owner of the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, gave him the green light to rebuild the team from scratch. Auerbach traded more than two dozen players in just six weeks, and the revamped Blackhawks improved, but ended the 1949–50 NBA
NBA
season with a losing record of 28–29. When Kerner traded Auerbach's favorite player John Mahnken, an angry Auerbach resigned again.[2] Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
(1950–2006)[edit] The early years (1950–56)[edit] Prior to the 1950–51 NBA
NBA
season, Walter Brown, owner of the Boston Celtics, was desperate to turn around his struggling and financially strapped franchise, which was reeling from a 22–46 record.[6] Brown, in characteristic candor, said to a gathering of local Boston sportswriters, "Boys, I don't know anything about basketball. Who would you recommend I hire as coach?" The group vociferously answered that he get the recently available Auerbach, and Brown complied. In the 1950 NBA
NBA
draft, Auerbach made some notable moves. First, he famously snubbed Hall-of-Fame New England point guard Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy
in the 1950 NBA
NBA
draft, infuriating the Boston
Boston
crowd. He argued that the flashy Cousy lacked the poise necessary to make his team, taunting him as a "local yokel".[2] Second, he drafted African-American
African-American
Chuck Cooper, the first black player to be drafted by an NBA
NBA
club.[9] With that, Auerbach effectively broke down the color barrier in professional basketball.[3] In that year, the core of the Celtics consisted of Hall-of-Fame center Ed Macauley, Auerbach's old favorite McKinney, and an unlikely addition, Cousy. Cousy had refused to report to the club that had drafted him (ironically, the Blackhawks, Auerbach's old club), and because his next team (the Chicago Stags) folded, he ended up with the Celtics. With Auerbach's fast-break tactics, the Celtics achieved a 39–30 record but lost in the 1951 NBA Playoffs to the New York Knicks. However, the relationship between Auerbach and Cousy improved when the coach saw that the "Houdini of the Hardwood"—as the spectacular dribbler and flashy passer Cousy was lovingly called—became the first great playmaker of the fledgling NBA.[2] In the following 1951–52 NBA
NBA
season, Auerbach made a remarkable draft pick of future Hall-of-Fame guard Bill Sharman. With the high-scoring Macauley, elite passer Cousy, and new prodigy Sharman, Auerbach had a core that provided high-octane fast-break basketball. Other notable players who joined the Celtics were forwards Frank Ramsey and Jim Loscutoff. In the next years until 1956, the Celtics would make the playoffs every year, but never won the title. In fact, the Celtics often choked in the playoffs, going a mere 10–17 in the postseason from 1951 through 1956.[6] As Cousy put it: "We would get tired in the end and could not get the ball."[10] As a result, Auerbach sought a defensive big man who could both get easy rebounds, initiate fast breaks, and close out games.[2] The dynasty (1956–66)[edit]

Auerbach sitting on the bench next to rookie Bill Russell
Bill Russell
during a game at Boston
Boston
Garden, December 26, 1956. Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy
can be seen in the background.

Before the 1956 NBA
NBA
draft, Auerbach had already set his sights on defensive rebounding center Bill Russell. Via a draft-day trade that sent Macauley and rookie Cliff Hagan
Cliff Hagan
to the rival St. Louis Hawks (Kerner had moved the Blackhawks to St. Louis), he acquired a center in Russell, who would go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In the same draft, Auerbach picked up forward Tom Heinsohn and guard K.C. Jones, also two future Hall-of-Famers. Emphasizing team play rather than individual performances, and stressing that defense was more important than offense, Auerbach drilled his players to play tough defense and force opposing turnovers for easy fast-break points. Forward Tom Sanders recalled that the teams were also regularly among the best-conditioned and toughest squads.[10] Anchored by defensive stalwart Russell, the tough Celtics forced their opponents to take low-percentage shots from farther distances (there was no three-point arc at the time); misses were then often grabbed by perennial rebounding champion Russell, who then either passed it on to elite fast-break distributor Cousy or made the outlet pass himself, providing their sprinting colleagues opportunities for an easy slam dunk or layup.[2] Auerbach also emphasized the need for role players like Frank Ramsey and John Havlicek, who became two of the first legitimate sixth men in NBA
NBA
history,[10] a role later succeeded in by Don Nelson. Auerbach's recipe proved devastating to the opposition. From 1957 to 1966, the Celtics won nine of ten NBA
NBA
championships. This included eight consecutive championships—which is the longest championship streak in North American sports—and six victories over the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
of Hall-of-Famers Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor
and Jerry West in the NBA
NBA
Finals. The streak also denied perennial scoring and rebounding champion Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain
a title during Auerbach's coaching reign.[11] Flowing from Auerbach's emphasis on teamwork, what was also striking about his teams was that they never seemed to have a dominant scorer: in the 1960–61 NBA
NBA
season, for instance, the Celtics had six players who scored between 15 and 21 points per game, but none made the Top 10 scoring list.[10] In 1964, he sent out the first-ever NBA
NBA
starting five consisting of an African-American
African-American
quintet, namely Russell, Willie Naulls, Tom Sanders, Sam Jones, and K. C. Jones. Auerbach would go a step further in the 1966–67 NBA
NBA
season, when he stepped down after winning nine titles in 11 years, and made Bill Russell
Bill Russell
player-coach. Auerbach also popularized smoking a victory cigar whenever he thought a game was already decided, a habit that became cult-like in popularity in the Boston
Boston
area.[10] Furthermore, having acquired a reputation as a fierce competitor, he often got into verbal altercations with officials, receiving more fines and getting ejected more often than any other coach in NBA
NBA
history.[10] All in all, Auerbach directly coached nine world championship teams and mentored 4 players—Russell, Sharman, Heinsohn, and K.C. Jones—who would go on to win an additional 7 NBA
NBA
championships as coaches (two each for Russell, Heinsohn and Jones, all with the Celtics, and one for Sharman with the Lakers). Ten players who played for Auerbach have been inducted into the Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame—Macauley, Ramsey, Cousy, Sharman, Heinsohn, Russell, K. C. Jones, Havlicek, Sam Jones and Bailey Howell. Although Don Nelson played for Auerbach only during his last year as coach, his influence was profound: Nelson would later join Auerbach as one of the 10 Greatest Coaches in NBA
NBA
history.[2] Sharman and Heinsohn would become two of only four people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. Few if any coaches can match Auerbach's record of wins and successful mentorship of his players. General manager (1966–84)[edit] Prior to the 1965–66 NBA
NBA
season, Auerbach announced the coming year would be his last as coach, stating to the rest of the league, "This is your chance to take your last shot at me." After losing game 1 of the 1966 finals to the Lakers, he publicly named his successor, center Bill Russell. The Celtics won the series in seven games, sending Auerbach out on top. Russell then took over as a player-coach, and so became the first African-American
African-American
head coach ever in the four major North American professional team sports.[2] While his pupil led the Celtics to two further titles in 1968 and 1969, Auerbach rebuilt the aging Celtics with shrewd draft picks, among them future Hall-of-Famers Dave Cowens
Dave Cowens
and Jo Jo White, as well as Paul Westphal and Don Chaney. With his ex-player Tom Heinsohn
Tom Heinsohn
coaching the Celtics and led by former sixth man John Havlicek, Auerbach's new recruits won the Atlantic Division every year from 1972 to 1976, winning the NBA title in 1974 and 1976. Auerbach also signed veteran forward/center Paul Silas
Paul Silas
and ex-ABA star Charles Scott.[6] However, Auerbach could not prevent the Celtics from going into a slump at the end of the 1970s. He traded away both Silas and Westphal because they wanted salary increases that would have made them higher earners than the best player on the Celtics (Cowens), which was not acceptable to Auerbach. While the Westphal trade to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Charlie Scott
Charlie Scott
was considered a success due to the Celtics' 13th title in 1976, Auerbach later admitted he erred in letting Silas go, even after Cowens personally begged him to give Silas a new deal. When Havlicek retired in 1978, the Celtics went 61–103 in two seasons.[6] In the summer of 1978, after the worst in a string of contentious clashes with several different owners after Walter Brown's passing in 1964, Auerbach hopped into a taxi to take him to Logan Airport, where he was to board a flight to New York to consider a lucrative contract offer from Knicks owner Sonny Werblin. However, the cab driver pleaded with him to stay, emphasizing how much Bostonians loved him and considered him family.[12] Soon after, heading a team press conference, and with his typical bravado, Auerbach puffed on his trademark cigar and stated simply, "I'm not going anywhere. We're going to sign Larry Bird, and we're going to be on top again." Despite knowing that Bird, a talented young player from unheralded Indiana State, had a year of college eligibility remaining, he had drafted Bird as a junior eligible in the 1978 NBA draft
1978 NBA draft
and waited for a year until the future Hall-of-Fame forward Bird arrived, finally setting aside his team salary rules when it became clear that his choices were paying Bird a record-setting rookie salary or watch him simply re-enter the 1979 draft. Bird then became the highest-paid Celtic as a rookie, with a $650,000-per year deal. Auerbach knew that the brilliant, hardworking Bird would be the cornerstone of a new Celtics generation.[2] In 1980, Auerbach achieved another great coup, which was dubbed "The Steal of The Century".[13] He convinced the Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
to trade him a #3 overall pick and future Hall-of-Fame center Robert Parish in exchange for two picks in the 1980 NBA
NBA
draft: #1 overall Joe Barry Carroll, who went on to have an unremarkable career, and the #13 pick Rickey Brown. With the #3 pick, Auerbach selected the player he most wanted in the draft, Kevin McHale, who would also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The frontcourt of Parish-McHale-Bird became one of the greatest front lines in NBA
NBA
history. Auerbach hired head coach Bill Fitch who led the revamped Celtics to the 1981 title. In 1983, Auerbach named former Celtics player K.C. Jones
K.C. Jones
coach of the Celtics. Starting in 1984, Jones coached the Celtics to four straight appearances in the NBA
NBA
Finals, winning championships in 1984 and 1986. President and vice chairman (1984–2006)[edit] In 1984, Auerbach relinquished his general managing duties and became president and later vice-chairman of the Boston
Boston
Celtics.[6] In a surprising move after winning their 15th title, he traded popular guard Gerald Henderson, the game 2 hero in the finals against the Lakers, for Seattle's first round draft pick in 1986. Two years later, after the Celtics defeated Houston in the finals for their 16th championship, he used the second overall pick in the 1986 draft, the pick acquired from Seattle, to take college prodigy Len Bias from Maryland, arguably the most brilliant coup in Auerbach's stellar career. With the team's star players still in their prime, the defending champions appeared set to compete at the top for years. However, tragedy struck just two days later, when Bias died of a cocaine overdose. Several years later, Celtics star player Reggie Lewis died suddenly in 1993, and without any league compensation for either loss, the team fell into decline, not seeing another Finals in Auerbach's lifetime.[6] In an interview, Auerbach confessed that he lost interest in big-time managing in the early 1990s, preferring to stay in the background and concentrating on his pastimes, racquetball and his beloved cigar-smoking. He would, however, stay on with the Celtics as president until 1997, as vice chairman until 2001, and then became president again, a position he held until his death,[10] although in his final years, he was weakened by heart problems and often used a wheelchair.[14] Personal life[edit]

Auerbach being honored on October 25, 2006, a few days before his death, for his service in the Navy during World War II.

Auerbach was one of four children of American-born Marie Auerbach and Russian Jewish
Russian Jewish
immigrant Hyman Auerbach in Brooklyn. His brother Zang Auerbach, four years his junior, was a respected cartoonist and portraitist at the Washington Star.[11] He married Dorothy Lewis in the spring of 1941. The couple had two daughters, Nancy and Randy.[10] Auerbach was known for his love for cigar smoking. Because Red made his victory cigars a cult in the 1960s, Boston
Boston
restaurants would often say "no cigar or pipe smoking, except for Red Auerbach".[10] In addition, Auerbach was well known for his love of Chinese food. In an interview shortly before his death, he explained that since the 1950s, Chinese takeout was the most convenient nutrition: back then, NBA teams travelled on regular flights and had a tight time schedule, so filling up the stomach with heavier non-Chinese food meant wasting time and risking travel-sickness. Over the years, Auerbach became so fond of this food that he even became a part-owner of a Chinese restaurant in Boston.[11] Despite a heart operation, he remained active in his 80s, playing racquetball and making frequent public appearances. Despite his fierce nature, Auerbach was popular among his players. He recalled that on his 75th birthday party, 45 of his former players showed up;[10] and when he turned 80, his perennial 1960s victim Wilt Chamberlain showed up, a gesture which Auerbach dearly appreciated.[11] In an interview with ESPN, Auerbach stated that his all-star fantasy team would consist of Bill Russell—who in the former's opinion was the ultimate player to start a franchise with—as well as Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson
and Jerry West, with John Havlicek
John Havlicek
as the sixth man. Regarding greatest basketballers of all time, Auerbach's candidates were Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and Robertson."[10] Death[edit] Auerbach died of a heart attack on October 28, 2006 at the age of 89.[15] NBA
NBA
commissioner David Stern
David Stern
said, "the void caused by his death will never be filled" and players Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, John Havlicek and Larry Bird, as well as contemporaries like Jerry West, Pat Riley, and Wayne Embry
Wayne Embry
universally hailed Auerbach as one of the greatest personalities in NBA
NBA
history.[14] Bird stated "Red shared our passion for the game, our commitment to excellence, and our desire to do whatever it takes to win." Auerbach was survived by his two daughters, Nancy and Randy. Auerbach was interred in Falls Church, Virginia at King David Memorial Gardens within National Memorial Park on October 31, 2006. Attendees included basketball dignitaries Bill Russell, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, and David Stern. During the 2006–07 NBA
NBA
season, NBA TV
NBA TV
and NBA.com aired reruns of Auerbach's four-minute instructional videos known as "Red on Roundball" previously aired during NBA on CBS
NBA on CBS
halftime shows in the 1970s and 1980s, and as a testament to his importance in the Boston sports world, the Boston
Boston
Red Sox honored Auerbach at their April 20, 2007 game against the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
by wearing green uniforms and by hanging replicated Celtics championship banners on the "Green Monster" at Fenway Park. Boston
Boston
won 7–6. Prior to Boston's season opener against the Wizards, his signature was officially placed on the parquet floor near center court, thereby naming the court as " Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Parquet Floor." The ceremony was attended by his daughter Randy and some of the Celtics legends. The signature replaced the Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
memorial logo used during the 2007 season.

Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Memorial worn by the Celtics for the 2006–07 NBA season.

Writing[edit] Auerbach was the author of seven books. His first, Basketball
Basketball
for the Player, the Fan and Coach, has been translated into seven languages and is the best-selling basketball book in print.[2] His second book, co-authored with Paul Sann, was Winning the Hard Way. He also wrote a pair of books with Joe Fitzgerald: Red Auerbach: An Autobiography and Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
On and Off the Court. In October 1991 M.B.A.: Management by Auerbach was co-authored with Ken Dooley. In 1994, Seeing Red was written with Dan Shaughnessy. In October 2004, his last book, Let Me Tell You a Story, was co-authored with sports journalist John Feinstein. Legacy[edit] Among Auerbach's accomplishments during his 20-year professional coaching career were eleven Eastern Division titles (including nine in a row from 1957–65), 11 appearances in the finals (including ten in a row from 1957–66), and nine NBA
NBA
championships. With a total of 16 NBA
NBA
championship rings in a span of 29 years (1957–86) as the Celtics coach, general manager, and team president, Auerbach is the most successful team official in NBA
NBA
history.[2] He is credited with creating several generations of championship Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
teams, including the first Celtics dynasty with Bill Russell, which won an NBA
NBA
record eight titles in a row (1959–66). As Celtics general manager, he created championship-winning teams around Hall-of-Famers Dave Cowens
Dave Cowens
in the 1970s and Larry Bird
Larry Bird
in the 1980s.[2] In addition to coaching, Auerbach was a highly effective mentor; several players coached by Auerbach would become successful coaches themselves. Bill Russell
Bill Russell
won two titles as Auerbach's successor, Tom Heinsohn won a pair of championships as a Celtics coach in the 1970s, K.C. Jones
K.C. Jones
led the Celtics to two further titles in the 1980s, and Bill Sharman
Bill Sharman
coached the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
to their first title in 1972. In addition, prototypical sixth man Don Nelson
Don Nelson
had a highly successful coaching career and joined his mentor Auerbach as one of 10 Greatest Coaches in NBA
NBA
history. Throughout his coaching tenure in Boston, Auerbach served several other roles including, but not limited to, general manager, head of scouting, personnel director and travel agent.[16] In the early offseasons, he would take the Celtics on barnstorming tours around New England, promoting the still fledgling NBA. At the end of every season, regardless of their on-court success, he would approach owner Brown and ask, "Walter, are our last paychecks going to clear?" to which Brown would always positively respond, and they would. Despite Brown's own close association with the NHL's Boston
Boston
Bruins, whose owners also possessed the Boston
Boston
Garden, the Celtics were fleeced on concessions and profits as tenants. During this era, when most team owners not only thought of, but also treated their players as cattle and/or slaves, athletes from all the four major professional sports leagues were fighting for their rights and economic fairness. As Auerbach represented management of the Celtics, team members frustrated with their salaries had only him to complain to, or about, in their role in the formation of the players' union. These interpersonal dynamics are construed as follows by journalist David Halberstam:[17]

The hard core of the union came from the Celtics. That was not surprising; Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
went after the players of the highest intelligence and character, and then of course paid them horribly. That made the Celtics a mass of contradictions. They had great coherence as a team, great personal loyalty to each other, great respect and love for Auerbach, who had created this unique institution and honored each of them by making him a part of it, and then of course great anger at him for paying them so little.

Pertaining to the above, Walter Brown was not rich; also that as Auerbach was as tough at the negotiating table as he was on the practice court and in the locker room, it was always for the purpose of getting the most out of his players. In the summer of 1984, with much trepidation, Auerbach reluctantly signed former finals MVP Cedric Maxwell to a lucrative guaranteed contract to stay with the Celtics. Then, Auerbach's worst fears came true when Maxwell arrived that fall out of shape, and, suffering from various injuries, provided little contribution as the team lost a playoff for the first time ever to the Lakers in the 1985 Finals. Two subsequent facts are perhaps most relevant in evaluating Auerbach's legacy: First, he was able to trade Maxwell to San Diego in exchange for former MVP Bill Walton, who was a major contributor to the team winning its 16th title in 1986, the last of Auerbach's career. Second, Maxwell continues to be embraced as a beloved member of the Celtics family, including having his number retired alongside the team's legendary greats. In Auerbach's honor, the Celtics have retired a number-2 jersey with the name "AUERBACH", memorializing his role as the second most important Celtic ever, behind founder Walter Brown, in whose honor the number-1 "BROWN" jersey is retired.

In 1985, the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
retired the #2 jersey with Auerbach's name.

His story is documented in The First Basket, the first and most comprehensive documentary on the history of Jews and Basketball. He is also featured as an interviews subject for the film. Coaching pioneer[edit] From his early days, Auerbach was convinced that the fast break, where a team used a quick outlet pass to fast guards who run downcourt and score before the opponent had re-established position, was a potent tactical weapon. This new strategy proved lethal for the opposition.[2] Further, Auerbach moved emphasis away from individual accolades and instilled the teamwork element into his players.[6] He also invented the concept of the role player and of the sixth man,[2] stating: "Individual honors are nice, but no Celtic has ever gone out of his way to achieve them. We have never had the league's top scorer. In fact, we won seven league championships without placing even one among the league's top 10 scorers. Our pride was never rooted in statistics."[6] While Auerbach was not known for his tactical bandwidth, famously restricting his teams to just seven plays,[6] he was well known for his psychological warfare, often provoking opposing players and officials with unabashed trash talk. For his fiery temper, he was ejected more often and received more fines than any other coach in NBA history.[10] Age did nothing to diminish his fire; in 1983, after star Larry Bird
Larry Bird
was ejected from a preseason game against Philadelphia at the Garden along with the Sixers' role player Marc Iavaroni, Auerbach stormed onto the court and after taking the officials to task, screamed nose-to-nose with the 6'10" 260-pound Moses Malone. Concerning his own team, Auerbach was softer. Earl Lloyd, the first black player to play in the NBA, said: " Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
convinced his players that he loved them [...] so all they wanted to do was please him."[10] No color barrier[edit] Auerbach was known for choosing players for talent and motivation, with disregard for skin color or ethnicity. In 1950, he made NBA history by drafting the league's first African-American
African-American
player, Chuck Cooper. He constantly added new black players to his squad, including Bill Russell, Tom Sanders, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, and Willie Naulls. In 1964, these five players became the first African-American
African-American
starting five in the NBA. When Auerbach gave up coaching to become the Celtics general manager in 1966, he appointed Bill Russell
Bill Russell
as his successor. Russell became the first black NBA
NBA
coach, and was the first black coach of a professional sports organization since Fritz Pollard
Fritz Pollard
in 1925.[3] Similarly, in the 1980s, as the Celtics GM, Auerbach fielded an earnest, hardworking team that was derided as being "too white."[18] While the 1980s Celts were, in actuality, neither predominantly white nor black, the NBA
NBA
at the time was predominately black. White players like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, and Bill Walton
Bill Walton
played alongside Tiny Archibald, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, and Cedric Maxwell to bring three more championships in the '80s under coaches Bill Fitch (white) and K.C. Jones
K.C. Jones
(black). Auerbach is prominently featured in the documentary film, "The First Basket", about Jewish basketball history. Arnold "Red" Auerbach Award[edit] To honor Auerbach, the Celtics created the Arnold "Red" Auerbach award in 2006. It is an award given annually to the current Celtic player or coach who "best exemplifies the spirit and meaning of a true Celtic. NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
Award[edit] The NBA
NBA
gives out an annual coach of the year award to honor the league's best coach as voted by a panel of sportswriters. The trophy is named the ' Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
trophy'[19] and has a figure of Auerbach sitting on a bench. NBA[edit]

Legend

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %

Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %

Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result

Washington 1946–47 60 49 11 .817 1st in Eastern 6 2 4 .333 Lost in BAA Semifinals

Washington 1947–48 48 28 20 .583 2nd in Western (tie) - - - – Lost division tiebreaker

Washington 1948–49 60 38 22 .633 2nd in Eastern 2 6 5 .000 Lost in BAA Finals

Tri-Cities 1949–50 57 28 29 .491 2nd in Eastern 3 1 2 .333 Lost in Div. Semifinals

Boston 1950–51 69 39 30 .565 2nd in Eastern 2 0 2 .000 Lost in Div. Semifinals

Boston 1951–52 66 39 27 .591 2nd in Eastern 3 1 2 .333 Lost in Div. Semifinals

Boston 1952–53 71 46 25 .648 3rd in Eastern 6 3 3 .500 Lost in Div. Finals

Boston 1953–54 72 42 30 .583 3rd in Eastern 2 0 2 .000 Lost in Div. Finals

Boston 1954–55 72 36 36 .500 4th in Eastern 7 3 4 .429 Lost in Div. Finals

Boston 1955–56 72 39 33 .542 2nd in Eastern 3 1 2 .333 Lost in Div. Semifinals

Boston 1956–57 72 44 28 .611 1st in Eastern 10 7 3 .700 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1957–58 72 49 23 .681 1st in Eastern 11 6 5 .545 Lost in NBA
NBA
Finals

Boston 1958–59 72 52 20 .722 1st in Eastern 11 8 3 .727 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1959–60 75 59 16 .787 1st in Eastern 13 8 5 .615 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1960–61 79 57 22 .722 1st in Eastern 10 8 2 .800 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1961–62 80 60 20 .750 1st in Eastern 14 8 6 .571 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1962–63 80 58 22 .725 1st in Eastern 13 8 5 .615 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1963–64 80 59 21 .738 1st in Eastern 10 8 2 .800 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1964–65 80 62 18 .775 1st in Eastern 12 8 4 .667 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Boston 1965–66 80 54 26 .675 2nd in Eastern 17 11 6 .647 Won NBA
NBA
Champions

Career

1417 938 479 .662

168 99 69 .589

See also[edit]

List of select Jewish basketball players The First Basket List of NBA
NBA
championship head coaches

References[edit]

^ a b c d May, Peter (October 29, 2006). "Auerbach, pride of the Celtics, dies". Boston.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Red Auerbach biography". JockBio.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ a b c Ryan, Bob (October 30, 2006). "Red was just full of color". Boston.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ http://newsone.com/2003287/bill-russell-first-black-coach-in-pro-sports/ ^ Goldstein, Richard (October 29, 2006). "Red Auerbach, Who Built Basketball
Basketball
Dynasty, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hilton, Lisette. "Auerbach's Celtics played as a team". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ "Auerbach Takes Duke Post". The Boston
Boston
Daily Globe. July 1, 1949.  ^ Sumner, Jim (2005). Tales from the Duke Blue Devils Locker Room: A Collection of the Greatest Duke Basketball
Basketball
Stories Ever Told. Sports Publishing.  ^ "Chuck Cooper, one of the NBA's first Black players". The African American Registry. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shouler, Ken. "The Consummate Coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ a b c d Feinstein, Ron. "Red Auerbach: True Stories and NBA Legends". NPR. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  ^ https://www.si.com/vault/1969/12/31/8230694/the-road-not-taken ^ Bballbreakdown – How Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Stole Parish and McHale on YouTube ^ a b "A Tribute to Red". NBA.com. Retrieved July 10, 2007.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "tribute" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). ^ " Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Biography – life, family, parents, name, history, school, mother, son, born, college, contract, house, time, year, Parents Were Russian Immigrants". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved February 1, 2011.  ^ Springer, Steve (October 29, 2006). "Red Auerbach, 89; Celtics coach built a basketball dynasty". Los Angeles Times.  ^ Halberstam. pg. 343 ^ Adande, J.A. "The truth isn't always black and white for Celtics". Espn.com. Retrieved April 12, 2009.  ^ The Jewish Coaches Association also presents an identically named " Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
Trophy," to the most outstanding Jewish-American basketball coach of the year.

Notes[edit]

Obituary (January 19, 2007), Jewish Chronicle, p. 45 Halberstam, David. The Breaks of the Game. Random House. 1981

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Red Auerbach

Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
at the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame Info page from Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
official site Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
at Find a Grave

Links to related articles

v t e

Washington Capitols head coaches

Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
(1946–1949) Bob Feerick (1949–1950) Bones McKinney
Bones McKinney
(1950–1951)

v t e

Atlanta Hawks head coaches

Roger Potter (1949) Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
(1949–1950) Dave MacMillan (1950) Johnny Logan # (1950) Mike Todorovich (1950–1951) Doxie Moore
Doxie Moore
(1951–1952) Andrew Levane (1952–1954) Red Holzman
Red Holzman
(1954–1957) Slater Martin
Slater Martin
# (1957) Alex Hannum
Alex Hannum
(1957–1958) Andy Phillip
Andy Phillip
(1958) Ed Macauley
Ed Macauley
(1958–1960) Paul Seymour (1960–1961) Andrew Levane (1961–1962) Bob Pettit
Bob Pettit
(1962) Harry Gallatin
Harry Gallatin
(1962–1964) Richie Guerin
Richie Guerin
(1964–1972) Cotton Fitzsimmons (1972–1976) Bumper Tormohlen # (1976) Hubie Brown
Hubie Brown
(1976–1981) Mike Fratello
Mike Fratello
# (1981) Kevin Loughery (1981–1984) Mike Fratello
Mike Fratello
(1984–1990) Bob Weiss (1990–1993) Lenny Wilkens
Lenny Wilkens
(1993–2000) Lon Kruger (2000–2002) Terry Stotts
Terry Stotts
(2002–2004) Mike Woodson
Mike Woodson
(2004–2010) Larry Drew
Larry Drew
(2010–2013) Mike Budenholzer
Mike Budenholzer
(2013– )

(#) denotes interim head coach.

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
head coaches

John Russell (1946–1948) Doggie Julian
Doggie Julian
(1948–1950) Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach
(1950–1966) Bill Russell
Bill Russell
(1966–1969) Tom Heinsohn
Tom Heinsohn
(1969–1978) Satch Sanders
Satch Sanders
(1978) Dave Cowens
Dave Cowens
(1978–1979) Bill Fitch (1979–1983) K. C. Jones
K. C. Jones
(1983–1988) Jimmy Rodgers (1988–1990) Chris Ford (1990–1995) M. L. Carr (1995–1997) Rick Pitino
Rick Pitino
(1997–2001) Jim O'Brien (2001–2004) John Carroll (2004) Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers
(2004–2013) Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens
(2013– )

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1956–57 NBA
NBA
champions

6 Russell 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Nichols 17 Phillip 18 Loscutoff 19 Risen 20 Hemric 21 Sharman 23 Ramsey 29 Tsioropoulos

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1958–59 NBA
NBA
champions

6 Russell 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Swain 17 Conley 18 Loscutoff 21 Sharman 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones 29 Tsioropoulos

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1959–60 NBA
NBA
champions

6 Russell 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Richter 17 Conley 18 Loscutoff 20 Guarilia 21 Sharman 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1960–61 NBA
NBA
champions

6 Russell 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Sanders 17 Conley 18 Loscutoff 20 Guarilia 21 Sharman 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1961–62 NBA
NBA
champions

4 Braun 6 Russell 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Sanders 18 Loscutoff 20 Guarilia 21 Phillips 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1962–63 NBA
NBA
champions

4 Lovellette 6 Russell 12 Swartz 14 Cousy 15 Heinsohn 16 Sanders 17 Havlicek 18 Loscutoff 20 Guarilia 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1963–64 NBA
NBA
champions

4 Lovellette 6 Russell 12 Naulls 15 Heinsohn 16 Sanders 17 Havlicek 18 Loscutoff 20 Siegfried 21 McCarthy 23 Ramsey 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1964–65 NBA
NBA
champions

5 Thompson 6 Russell 11 Counts 12 Naulls 15 Heinsohn 16 Sanders 17 Havlicek 20 Siegfried 21 Bonham 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
1965–66 NBA
NBA
champions

5 Thompson 6 Russell 11 Counts 12 Naulls 14 Watts 16 Sanders 17 Havlicek 18 Sauldsberry 19 Nelson 20 Siegfried 21 Bonham 24 S. Jones 25 K. Jones

Head coach
Head coach
Auerbach

Regular season Playoffs

v t e

National Basketball
Basketball
Association's Top Ten Coaches in NBA
NBA
History

Red Auerbach Chuck Daly Bill Fitch Red Holzman Phil Jackson John Kundla Don Nelson Jack Ramsay Pat Riley Lenny Wilkens

v t e

NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year
Award

1963: Gallatin 1964: Hannum 1965: Auerbach 1966: Schayes 1967: J. Kerr 1968: Guerin 1969: Shue 1970: Holzman 1971: Motta 1972: Sharman 1973: Heinsohn 1974: R. Scott 1975: P. Johnson 1976: Fitch 1977: Nissalke 1978: H. Brown 1979: Fitzsimmons 1980: Fitch 1981: McKinney 1982: Shue 1983: Nelson 1984: Layden 1985: Nelson 1986: Fratello 1987: Schuler 1988: Moe 1989: Fitzsimmons 1990: Riley 1991: Chaney 1992: Nelson 1993: Riley 1994: Wilkens 1995: Harris 1996: Jackson 1997: Riley 1998: Bird 1999: Dunleavy 2000: Rivers 2001: L. Brown 2002: Carlisle 2003: Popovich 2004: H. Brown 2005: D'Antoni 2006: A. Johnson 2007: Mitchell 2008: B. Scott 2009: M. Brown 2010: Brooks 2011: Thibodeau 2012: Popovich 2013: Karl 2014: Popovich 2015: Budenholzer 2016: S. Kerr 2017: D'Antoni

v t e

NBA Executive of the Year Award

1973: Axelson 1974: Donovan 1975: Vertlieb 1976: J. Colangelo 1977: Patterson 1978: Drossos 1979: Ferry 1980: Auerbach 1981: J. Colangelo 1982: Ferry 1983: Volchok 1984: Layden 1985: Boryla 1986: Kasten 1987: Kasten 1988: Krause 1989: J. Colangelo 1990: Bass 1991: Buckwalter 1992: Embry 1993: J. Colangelo 1994: Whitsitt 1995: West 1996: Krause 1997: Bass 1998: Embry 1999: Petrie 2000: Gabriel 2001: Petrie 2002: Thorn 2003: Dumars 2004: West 2005: B. Colangelo 2006: Baylor 2007: B. Colangelo 2008: Ainge 2009: Warkentien 2010: Hammond 2011: Forman & Riley 2012: Bird 2013: Ujiri 2014: Buford 2015: Myers 2016: Buford 2017: Myers

v t e

Naismith Memorial Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame Class of 1969

Players

Dutch Dehnert

Coaches

Red Auerbach Henry Iba Adolph Rupp

Contributors

Chuck Taylor

v t e

Members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball
Basketball
Hall of Fame

Players

Guards

R. Allen Archibald Beckman Belov Bing Blazejowski Borgmann Brennan Cervi Cheeks Clayton Cooper-Dyke Cousy Dampier Davies Drexler Dumars Edwards Frazier Friedman Galis Gervin Goodrich Greer Guerin Hanson Haynes Holman Hyatt Isaacs Iverson Jeannette D. Johnson E. Johnson K. Jones S. Jones Jordan Kidd Lieberman Maravich Marcari Marčiulionis Martin McDermott McGrady D. McGuire Meyers R. Miller Monroe C. Murphy Nash Page Payton Petrović Phillip Posey Richmond Robertson Rodgers Roosma J. Russell Schommer Scott Sedran Sharman K. Smith Staley Steinmetz Stockton Swoopes Thomas Thompson Vandivier Wanzer West J. White Wilkens Woodard Wooden

Forwards

Arizin Barkley Barry Baylor Bird Bradley R. Brown Cunningham Curry Dalipagić Dantley DeBusschere Dehnert Endacott English Erving Foster Fulks Gale Gates Gola Hagan Havlicek Hawkins Hayes Haywood Heinsohn Hill Howell G. Johnson King Lucas Luisetti K. Malone McClain B. McCracken J. McCracken McGinnis McHale Mikkelsen C. Miller Mullin Pettit Pippen Pollard Radja Ramsey Rodman Schayes E. Schmidt O. Schmidt Stokes C. Thompson T. Thompson Twyman Walker Washington N. White Wilkes Wilkins Worthy Yardley

Centers

Abdul-Jabbar Barlow Beaty Bellamy Chamberlain Ćosić Cowens Crawford Daniels DeBernardi Donovan Ewing Gallatin Gilmore Gruenig Harris-Stewart Houbregs Issel W. Johnson Johnston M. Krause Kurland Lanier Leslie Lovellette Lapchick Macauley M. Malone McAdoo Meneghin Mikan Mourning S. Murphy Mutombo Olajuwon O'Neal Parish Pereira Reed Risen Robinson B. Russell Sabonis Sampson Semjonova Thurmond Unseld Wachter Walton Yao

Coaches

Alexeeva P. Allen Anderson Auerbach Auriemma Barmore Barry Blood Boeheim L. Brown Calhoun Calipari Cann Carlson Carnesecca Carnevale Carril Case Chancellor Chaney Conradt Crum Daly Dean Díaz-Miguel Diddle Drake Driesell Ferrándiz Gaines Gamba Gardner Gaze Gill Gomelsky Gunter Hannum Harshman Haskins Hatchell Heinsohn Hickey Hobson Holzman Hughes Hurley Iba Izzo P. Jackson Julian Keaney Keogan Knight Krzyzewski Kundla Lambert Leonard Lewis Litwack Loeffler Lonborg Magee McCutchan McGraw A. McGuire F. McGuire McLendon Meanwell Meyer Miller Moore Nelson Nikolić Novosel Olson Pitino Ramsay Richardson Riley Rubini Rupp Rush Sachs Self Sharman Shelton Sloan D. Smith Stringer Summitt Tarkanian Taylor Teague J. Thompson VanDerveer Wade Watts Wilkens G. Williams R. Williams Wooden Woolpert Wootten Yow

Contributors

Abbott Barksdale Bee Biasone H. Brown W. Brown Bunn Buss Clifton Colangelo Cooper Davidson Douglas Duer Embry Fagan Fisher Fleisher Gavitt Gottlieb Granik Gulick Harrison Hearn Henderson Hepp Hickox Hinkle Irish M. Jackson Jernstedt Jones Kennedy Knight J. Krause Lemon Liston Lloyd McLendon Lobo Mokray Morgan Morgenweck Naismith Newell Newton J. O'Brien L. O'Brien Olsen Podoloff Porter Raveling Reid Reinsdorf Ripley Sanders Saperstein Schabinger St. John Stagg Stanković Steitz Stern Taylor Thorn Tower Trester Vitale Wells Welts Wilke Winter Zollner

Referees

Bavetta Enright Garretson Hepbron Hoyt Kennedy Leith Mihalik Nichols Nucatola Quigley Rudolph Shirley Strom Tobey Walsh

Teams

1960 United States Olympic Team 1992 United States Olympic Team All-American Red Heads Buffalo Germans The First Team Harlem Globetrotters Immaculata College New York Renaissance Original Celtics Texas Western

v t e

Boston
Boston
Celtics

Founded in 1946 Based in Boston, Massachusetts

Franchise

Franchise Team history All-time roster Seasons Accomplishments Head coaches Current season

Arenas

Boston
Boston
Arena Boston
Boston
Garden Hartford Civic Center TD Garden

Administration

Boston
Boston
Basketball
Basketball
Partners (owner) Wyc Grousbeck (CEO) Wyc Grousbeck, H. Irving Grousbeck, Stephen Pagliuca (managing partners) Danny Ainge
Danny Ainge
(General manager) Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens
(Head coach)

General managers

Brown Auerbach Volk Wallace Ainge

Retired numbers

00 1 2 3 6 10 14 15 16 17 18 LOSCY 19 21 22 23 24 25 31 32 33 34 35 MIC

Hall of Famers

Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
Hall of Famers

G League affiliate

Maine Red Claws

Rivalries

Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks Philadelphia 76ers

Culture

Celtic Pride Greatest game ever played Tommy Points "Love ya, Cooz!" Close, but no cigar! Bill Russell Beat L.A. Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies Mike Gorman Johnny Most "Havlicek stole the ball!" Henderson steals the ball! Bird steals the ball! Boston
Boston
Garden North Station Larry Legend DJ The Chief The Truth The Sports Museum
The Sports Museum
of New England

NBA
NBA
Championships (17)

1957 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1968 1969 1974 1976 1981 1984 1986 2008

Eastern Conference Championships (21)

1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1968 1969 1974 1976 1981 1984 1985 1986 1987 2008 2010

Media

TV NBC Sports Boston Radio WBZ-FM Announcers Mike Gorman Tom Heinsohn Brian Scalabrine Sean Grande Cedric Maxwell John Wallach

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25765522 LCCN: n50028859 ISNI: 0000 0001 1047 0450 GND: 132500

.