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Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 5, 2009
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From the Back Cover
When Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics in 1957 as the nation′s first prominent black basketball star, he was not expecting much from coach Red Auerbach. Despite two national college championships and an Olympic gold medal, Russell′s previous coaches-all whites-had barely spoken to him. Russell′s style was unorthodox, redefining the meaning of defense and offense, and many scouts dismissed him.
Yet Auerbach, the Jewish outsider in Irish Boston, immediately took to Russell, the African American from Louisiana and Oakland, and he was a coach like no other. Auerbach listened to his players, experimented freely, and knit together a team based only on results. Together they made sports history, winning 11 championships in 13 years. Along the way, Auerbach elevated Russell to player-coach, the first African-American coach in league history. Together, they battled prejudice both on and off the court, and created a team chemistry for the ages.
Even this glory is surpassed by another, little known aspect of their relationship: they became lifelong friends. As Russell explains, they were prepared for each other by their fathers, both strong men who loved their sons unconditionally. They both intuitively understood the dynamics of male friendship: there are many things left unsaid, but there is always understanding and respect. Over the many years since Russell retired from the Celtics and moved to the west coast, they saw each other rarely but spoke on the phone regularly. They were always there for each other. As Auerbach fell ill and declined, Russell was there, knowing how to reach out while respecting his former coach′s privacy. When Auerbach passed away in October, 2006, Russell refused to speak publicly about a relationship that was so deeply personal. Here, he offers a tribute greater than any speech.
This is a book not just for sports lovers, not just for fathers and sons, but for male friendships of all shapes and sizes.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
But to complete the back story for this book you must know that in addition to be an exceptional athlete, Russell was an incredibly intelligent and private man who even refused autographs to his teammates for their family. With this background Russell describes how he expected another poor relationship with his coach only to find in Red Auerbach a Jewish man who also had suffered racism and was solely focused on winning and treating his players well. Once he knew what was important to Russell, he treated him as an accomplice, always asking his opinion and never disrespecting him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good insight into the minds of russell and red and how they assembled the championship teams. a great read. my only complaint is that I wish it was longer.Published 2 months ago by Michael James Thornhill
This is a fantastic book. Russell and Auerbach shared a powerful friendship and partnership--and these pages do their best to capture this unique chemistry and dynamic. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Indra
so real and authentic, gave me new insight into bill russell, the man,Published 14 months ago by John Hersey
Bill Russell is one of the wisest people on Earth in addition to the best basketball player ever.Published 14 months ago by Patrick Delaney
Bill Russell and Red what a combo. Good look inside the old days at the Boston Celtics.Published 14 months ago by the word33
This book is a treasure and to think it has been around for years unread is like walking on unseen diamonds and being poor at the same time. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Wayne G. Hankins