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Dramatic Radio – For Arnold “Red” Auerbach October 31, 2006

Posted by William Spear in >> Dramatic Radio.

On Saturday October 28, Arnold “Red” Auerbach died of a heart attack near his home in Washington DC. He was 89. Auerbach served as coach, general manager and president of the Boston Celtics basketball team. Lit Between the Ears offers condolences to the surviving Auerbach family.

Mr. Auerbach’s list of sports and social accomplishments is immense and well-documented elsewhere. Sixteen championships – including nine as a coach -, third winningest coach with 938 wins and elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968 do not begin to fully convey his career. Find a biography or read one of his books to get a better view of the person.

Where’s the radio, you ask?

Auerbach was coaching in Game Seven of the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals between the six-time defending champion Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics’ lead had narrowed to 110-109. Philadelphia regained possession with five seconds left after an inbounds pass attempt by Boston’s Bill Russell hit a support wire for a basket that ran down from the ceiling of Boston Garden.

Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame guard Hal Greer prepared to inbound the ball for a chance to win the series. Boston’s Hall of Famer John Havlicek was stealthily playing defense and Boston’s fans were listing to Johnny Most on the radio:

“Greer is putting the ball into play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it. Over to Sam Jones. Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over! Johnny Havlicek stole the ball!”

Most’s screaming call has been compared to Russ Hodges’ delirious chant of “The Giants win the pennant … The Giants win the pennant” in 1951.

Long live the spirits of Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics.

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