SCP Auctions April 2011 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/1/2011
“There’s no substitution for winning. None. Never forget that.” – Red Auerbach
The year before Auerbach took over the Celtics, the team had a dismal 22-46 record and owner Walter Brown was looking for someone to turn the franchise around. Auerbach fit the role; and with the help of rookie guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics achieved a record of 39-30 in Red's first season. There followed a series of winning seasons in the early 1950s, but the elusive NBA title seemed out of their grasp. In 1956, that changed with one brilliant move by Auerbach, who traded All-Star forward Ed Macauley and guard Cliff Hagan for the second pick in the NBA draft. With that pick, the Celtics selected Bill Russell, and instantly became the most dominant team in basketball. Auerbach popularized the concept of the role player and used the "sixth" man to his advantage. By using one of his better players as a reserve, he provided his squad with a boost from the bench (this at a time when most coaches used their five best players as starters). He also knew how to utilize his team's talent to the maximum. The Celtics ran only seven basic set plays, yet, as Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn said, "He had a touch with people and could get them committed to what he was doing. He made the Celtics into basketball's Cosa Nostra. We believed it was our thing.''
Auerbach's genius molded the gifted Celtics into a winning team. Red expressed it this way: "Individual honors are nice, but no Celtic has ever gone out of his way to achieve them. Our pride was never rooted in statistics." The only statistic that mattered to Red was winning. No other coach of his era did more of it. On January 12th, 1966 Red reached an unprecedented milestone. He notched his 1,000th win as a coach (regular season and playoffs combined) with a 114-102 victory over the Lakers. In celebration of Auerbach becoming the first coach to surpass the 1,000 win barrier, the Celtics honored him at halftime of a home game at Boston Garden on February 13th, 1966. Easily the most significant and impressive trophy in Auerbach’s extensive collection of hardware is this prize, which he received on that memorable day. The quality and design of the 23” tall trophy conveys importance equal to the feat it represents. Atop the trophy is a basketball (likely used in the milestone game) that has been painted gold with the number “1,000” affixed to it. A placard on the upper tier of the wood base is engraved with the words, “Red Auerbach’s 1,000th Win”. A large placard on the bottom of the base is engraved with the details of the historic game and date of presentation ceremony. Accompanying the trophy is a photo of Red receiving this magnificent award. This is a basketball trophy of the highest caliber representing the summation of Red Auerbach’s illustrious career. Includes a letter of provenance from the Auerbach estate.