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Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615537058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615537051
  • ASIN: B002QGSW92
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

First, let’s get the basketball credentials out of the way. Russell was the greatest team basketball player ever; his Boston Celtics won championships in 11 of his 13 years. Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach was the Celtics coach for the first 10 years of Russell’s career and later, as the general manager, assembled five more championship teams after Russell retired. Russell retraces the path of their lifelong friendship as it evolved from player-coach to professional equals to good friends. The relationship was always grounded in respect. Auerbach never tried to alter Russell’s then-revolutionary basketball style, nor did he ever interfere with or critique Russell’s involvement in the civil-rights movement. Auerbach’s Jewish heritage exposed him to some of the same prejudices Russell experienced in segregated Boston, though they never compared notes. Auerbach cultivated a public persona associated with words like gruff or curmudgeon that are partially accurate but woefully incomplete. He was extraordinarily intelligent, fearless, and sensitive to what would bring out the best in those around him. Russell understands these characteristics and has produced a moving tribute to his friend and, in a larger sense, to friendship. --Wes Lukowsky

From the Back Cover

Red Auerbach was one of the greatest basketball coaches in sports history. Bill Russell was the star center and five-time MVP for Auerbach's Celtics, and together they won eleven championships in thirteen years. But Auerbach and Russell were far more than just coach and player. A short, brash Jew from Brooklyn and a tall, intense African-American from Louisiana and Oakland, the men formed a friendship that evolved into a rare, telling example of deep male camaraderie even as their feelings remained largely unspoken.

Red and Me is an extraordinary book: an homage to a peerless coach, which shows how he produced results unlike any other, and an inspiring story of mutual success, in which each man gave his all and gained back even more. Above all, it may be the most honest and heartfelt depiction of male friendship ever captured in print.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Your book is a signature piece, opening your life to us, for which we feel enormous gratitude.)
Len the Librarian
Since this was a fathers day present for my husband, I can't personally respond or rate the book, but usually the sports books are worthwhile reading.
G. N. Fisher
This book explores that relationship and demonstrates that there is more to friendship than never-ending self-disclosure.
D. Buxman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By soulonice on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book, while going through a basketball website, and since Bill Russell is regarded as the greatest winner in team sports, and Red Auerbach is considered the greatest coach that's ever lived, I figured there is no better place to learn about them, than from Russell himself.

Russell shares stories of his childhood, and how it helps him in high school, college, and how it sets the foundation for his relationship with Red Auerbach. You could tell they had a sincere bond, and had a unique way of interacting with each other. They both realized what they had with each other, and were able to work toward one common goal: winning. It was one of the more encouraging examples of success, especially with what we see nowadays, with teams and some of the riff-raff that goes on, that has little-or-nothing to do with winning.

It also gives you a glimpse of a side of both of them that people were not accustomed to seeing, at least from what I've seen. We get to see Coach Red as someone who would play practical jokes, and even had some played on him as well. More than anything, Mr. Russell does a great job of exposing the man, and letting the reader know he was fiercely loyal, dedicated to success, and was someone whose mind was working 24/7, and all for the betterment of the team. More than anything else, it's the story of how two men came together, and became very good friends, while forming a bond that could never be compromised and broken.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on May 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must state for the record that I am not a Boston Celtic fan... but the fact that I openly admired their "team-first" play... and even though I was saddened for decades as they always beat my Lakers in the finals... as a basketball player myself... I was true to the heart of the sport... when I openly said they were the better team. The Celtics of the late 50's and 60's were *THE-GREATEST-DYNASTY-IN-THE-HISTORY-OF-ALL-PROFESSIONAL-SPORTS!* Winning *EIGHT-STRAIGHT-NBA-CHAMPIONSHIPS*... and winning *ELEVEN-NBA-CHAMPIONSHIPS-IN-THIRTEEN-YEARS*! This is a mark that has never been matched... and with the lunacy of free agency... probably never will. At the core of these storied championships were two men. The architect... a small fiery Jew from Brooklyn... the coach and general manager... Red Auerbach... and the winningest player in professional sports history... and Celtic center... Bill Russell. This is not to say there weren't other great players on these Celtic teams... of course there were. The Hall of Fame's walls are lined with many of their plaques... in addition to numerous other Celtic legends as well. Just to name a few: "Da Cooz"... Heinsohn... the Jones boys... Sharman... Sanders... Havlicek... Howell... Loscutoff... and many others. But the most valuable of all these... was center Bill ("Russ") Russell. Russ's unmatched record as the ultimate winner included back-to-back NCAA Championships with USF and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1956 before joining the Celtics.

Most of these accolades are known by most Celtic fans and also by true sports fans. But what hasn't been known... until this book... because Russ never let anyone into his heart before... to share his intimate feelings... is how deep the reciprocal friendship... and yes the actual love was... between Russ and Red.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on May 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The secret to the unique friendship between Arnold "Red" Auerbach and Bill Russell has to be the mutual respect each had for the other. Red was the first coach Russell ever had who let him be himself. Rather than impose his own will on him Auerbach was smart enough and secure in his own position to allow Russell to "do his thing" on the basketball floor. Auerbach did admit to having two sets of rules, one for Russell and one for the remaining members of the team. Russell, to his credit, didn't take advantage of the situation. Both Auerbach and Russell were upfront with each other in their relationship and each respected and didn't question the others' beliefs in matters not related to basketball. An interesting anecdote is how Russell came to be drafted by the Celtics. Yes, it has been told in other books, but the Celtics had to do some maneuvering to get the chance to draft Bill Russell. I'm sure Russell would have been successful even if he didn't have Arnold "Red" Auerbach for a coach, but fortunately this odd-couple were a perfect match for one another. This book is a quick read, but it does contain lessons that will interest future coaches on any level in addition to anyone who is interested in reading about human relationships.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kug VINE VOICE on June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend of mine told me about this book coming out. I've read the other books by Red and Russell and found them to be good to great. So this one intrigued me but I thought 'what could be different?'

Well, lots is different. Yes it is about relationship and just a little about basketball. But what it is really about is friendship, a unique friendship. Russell starts by doing an excellent job of taking you inside the upbringing of a young black kid in the rural south. Raised by a family and an extended family that cared and taught him valuable lessons that he was able to take with him.

What he does best is tells us this story without bitching. It is almost like he is detatched. The message comes acrossed powerfully without him having to tell you. It was a tough life. His Mother, who he adored, died when he was 12. His father left the family, with the support of his Mother, to work in Detroit and support the family back in Louisiana.

Its quite a journey for an untrusting soul at the time like Russell to end up in Boston befriended mutually with a Jew in Red. Loved the book and the powerful message of where he came from and where he journeyed to and the struggles in between. Well worth reading for the learnings you can glean from this unique friendship.

Excellently written.
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