Re: Was Red the best coach ever?
posted at 11/30/2010 8:06 PM EST
In Response to Was Red the best coach ever?
[QUOTE]Was Red Auerbach the greatest NBA coach of all time? It's indisputable that he's one of the best. But the very best? I'm not too sure. Before anyone jumps down my throat I'll explain why. While a revolutionary coach with his ideas, the 9 titles he won as a coach, did not happen until Russell arrived at the Celtics. It didn't take two or three years to work Russell into the team, they started to win titles immediately. Wherever Russell went he won, I don't believe in coincidence. Which to me signifies that it was Russell, not Red who was the reason for the success. This is also illustrated in the 1958 season where Russell was injured. Does this Celtics team that won the 1957 title win without Russell in 1958? You think they'd be strong enough to. But no, they don't. Why? They have a great coach, and a superb roster of future hall of famers and some very smart basketball guys. But they don't win. No Russell, no title. At least not with that side. Russell returns for the next season, fit and the Celtics start their run of championships. Other players perform their heroics to win titles, thinking here about stolen balls, and last minute shots. But Russell is still the reason they are in that position to win the championship. You take him out and would Havliceck have been in that position to have stolen the ball, would Cousey have been dribbling out the shot clock? I don't think so. I really don't think so. I think Red while being an ingredient into the teams success, wasn't the main reason they were winning. That's just the view of someone looking at this as history. Russell won everywhere, the guy was the ultimate winner. If he goes to St Louis they'd have been winning multiple titles. My main point about the coaching is that Russell, as a rookie coach, takes a Celtic team that is nowhere near as strong as the sides from the early 60's. Took the team to two titles. As a rookie player/coach. Does this mean that Lenny Wilkins could have been bought in to coach a Russell led team and win two titles? More than likely, perhaps he'd need to have the players respect, which Russell had. Both Red and Russell had the respect of their teams. But it's just that Russell, not ever coaching before. Yet can win two titles as a rookie coach. Makes me think that almost any coach with decent man management skills could well have led that Celtics side to success, providing Russell remains healthy. People blame coaches when a team loses, but it's the players who are out there scoring the points. Phil Jackson may well have won eight titles in a row if Jordan did not retire from basketball for the 93/94 season. He returned in 94/95 but he didn't have that full season under his belt. Do we believe that the Houston Rockets would have been a match for a Jordan led Bulls side? More than likely they'd lose like the other teams that played The Bulls in the Finals. Jacksons legacy was forged in Chicago, thanks to Jordan. Although unlike Red, Jackson didn't start to win championships immediately with Jordan. Took a couple of years until they could beat Detroit, some would even suggest that rule changes enabled this. Jackson is another good to great coach. But coaching greatness is harder to define than winning championships. Jerry Sloan is a great coach who has not won a title. Where would he rate in the all time lists of great NBA coaches, you could say that he's a better coach than some who have won titles. Red was a great administrator, a great eye for basketball talent, he broke racial barriers and he was a great coach. But was Red the best? Would he have won any titles as a coach without Bill Russell? Could he have coached a champion team, without the champion? Which is rare but it does happen. I really don't know. In my mind, Russell is the key to it all when it comes to Reds NBA titles as a coach.
Posted by RUWorthy[/QUOTE]
So we're going to start this HEATED argument again?! Okay, I'm in.
Obviously you're not going to get 99.9% of the C's fans to say ANYONE other than Red Auerbach is the greatest. And they have many valid points. I'll let THEM argue in favor of Red.
Naturally, I'm one of the many Lakers fans who will say it's Phil Jackson, #1, cause he's won the most rings (and counting!), and also, because he's won with players with MEGA-Ego's and was able to mesh them into dynamic teams. Add the fact that there are nearly 4 times as many teams in the league and that makes his accomplishment that much more incredible.
Consider that Doug Collins had the same Bulls team that Phil inherited and Del Harris had about the same Lakers team that Phil inherited...and neither won a championship. That was Phil working his Zen magic!!