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I'm too young and to fully appreciate the aura of Red Auerbach, but I do know that anyone willing to fire up a cigar on the bench before the game was over is a bad-ass. Red also coached the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships, eight of them in a row... which also doesn't hurt his image as a bad-ass.

At the age of 89 yesterday, Red died of a heart attack near his home in Washington.

Back on the subject of the cigar, Auerbach tells this story in an interview with Jim Rome, which you can find here on YouTube:

One day in Cincinnati, they gave out 5,000 cigars, figuring they would beat us on their court, and everybody in the place would light up a cigar. You talk about a motivating speech that day... I got ahold of that team, I said, "You lose this game, I'll kill every one of ya." And we went out there and we whipped 'em, and I said to the guys, "You know what you can do with all your cigars."


Bad. Ass.

For more, Bill Simmons sat down with Auerbach back in 2002, and there's this five-part interview with him on Jim Rome's ESPN show. Then there's Dick Vitale's remembrance, which actually won't do a lot to help you remember Red, but I think it's funny that Dick Vitale was at a Barbra Streisand concert.


Red Auerbach interview PART 1 [YouTube]
Red will never be forgotten [ESPN]
Seeing Red after all these years [ESPN]
Celtics legendary coach Auerbach dead at age 89 []