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Thread: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

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    Default Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Found this. Tanking is not really cool and will never be.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2642190

    ESPN.com: What other factors affect a team's ability to win at playoff time?

    Auerbach: Like I always said, everything can happen in the playoffs.

    I'll give you an example. Suppose you're coming down to the wire and you got a chance the last two weeks – you're fighting for the best record. Then all of a sudden you have your best player, or your two best players are questionable with injuries.

    You gotta make a decision. Should I bench these two guys and finish second, or should I go all out to get a one-game home-court advantage?

    That situation could very easily arise. Bill Russell could have some problems with his knees and I could have played him 10 minutes a game over the last two weeks or I could rest him for four or five games, and so on.

    But we played him his regular 45 minutes. The thing we used to go by was every game is important and don't try to be cute and play the angles. Play every game, win every game, let the chips fall where they may.

    I remember people used to tell me years ago, when Bird was here, wouldn't it be better if you lost some of these games and then you would play so and so instead of so and so. I never bought that. I never bought that theory. Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Colt's fans like me disagree with you, yep we got Luck

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Colt's fans like me disagree with you, yep we got Luck
    The Colts didn't tank. Luckily the Jags beat us anyway.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    The only time I accept anything close to tanking is when you have young guys you want to get playing time. Otherwise you should try to win every game possible.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Didn't the Celtics tank pretty hard the year Duncan was available? Wasn't Auerbach still involved in the basketball operations at that point?

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    There's a difference between trying to play to an angle in a playoff season to get you a certain 1st round playoff matchup or playoff bracket (to try and avoid a matchup problem for example) versus having a team having a terrible season and deciding 14 and 68 and having the best shot at the 1st pick in the draft is better than 24 and 58 and lowering your draft chances in a season going nowhere otherwise.

    But, you don't ask the players in the game not to play hard or try to win either... You simply from a coaching and managing standpoint adjust your goals and not invest much time into players who aren't part of the future anyway (even if their experience might win you a few meaningless games in a season when it's a foregone conclusion the team is not on an ascension as-is).

    Draft picks are assets and the quickest way to get that missing piece for you team. That's the way the system has been designed. Unfortunately, it's a system that doesn't reward you for being middle of the road at all so you have to do what you have to do for the long term future.... not worry about a few extra wins in any one season.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Didn't the Celtics tank pretty hard the year Duncan was available? Wasn't Auerbach still involved in the basketball operations at that point?

    I've attached a link about the rooster and stats for the 96-97 team. I don't think they tanked - they were just a bad team.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1997.html

    As for Red, he had had his heart-attack either end of the previous season or beginning of that season. Either way, after that he was not in Boston as much as usual so I'm not really sure how much he influenced decisions at that time. He actually lived in D.C. and only had an apartment up here.

    Unfortunately the owners at that time, IMO, were horrible. Possible they called for a tank but I guess as a fan I like to think not.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Didn't the Celtics tank pretty hard the year Duncan was available? Wasn't Auerbach still involved in the basketball operations at that point?
    http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/...simmons/020322

    That was 24 years ago. Red eventually pushed Brown out of town, jump-started another mini-dynasty (the Bird Era) and finally scaled back his involvement with the team in the late-'80s, retaining more of an aging Vito Corleone-type, patriarch role. The next decade was rough for him, and not just because the team freefell into Lottery Land. Red endured quintuple-bypass surgery back in '93. Four years later, he was stripped of his presidency by Rick Pitino, the NBA equivalent of shoving someone into a nursing home. His beloved wife, Dorothy, passed away just 17 months ago, leaving him all alone in their Washington, D.C. condo.

    Maybe that's what made it so tough to swallow when Rick Pitino stormed into town back in the summer of '97. At this point, Red (nearing 80) had already yielded day-to-day control of the team -- first to Dave Gavitt (in the early-'90s), then to M.L. Carr (a comical three-year run in the mid-'90s) -- but still served as Team President and Legend Emeritus. When Pitino agreed to his extravagant, record-setting contract ($50 million for 10 years), he demanded complete control of the basketball operations, as well as Red's title of Team President. Anxious to close the deal, owner Paul Gaston agreed to Pitino's demands. Amazingly, unbelievably, Red Auerbach was demoted to Executive Vice-President.

    Wait ... it gets worse. Visit the Celtics offices, and you'll see framed team pictures from every season. In every picture since 1950, Red Auerbach is sitting in the center of the first row, holding a basketball. Coaches change, players change, but there's Red, always in the middle, always holding that damned basketball. Enter Pitino. In the '97-'98 team picture, he and Red are sitting in the middle, awkwardly holding the basketball together. The following year, only Pitino is holding the basketball. The year after that, Red isn't even sitting dead-center. Seeing these pictures now, it's jolting. How could this happen? It was John Y. Brown all over again.

    I mention these things to Red, getting more animated as I'm telling the story, finally asking him: "Did that stuff hurt your feelings?"
    "Not really," he says. "The tough part is, when you get past 80, you let things slide that 20 years ago I'd never let slide. You know what I mean? So I didn't make a big thing out of it. In all fairness, he might not have realized (what I meant to the franchise)."

    Pitino's inability to judge talent ... now that's what bothered Red. On a local radio show last November, Auerbach blurted, "I knew right from the beginning that he was headed for the pile." Classic Red. Now he adds, "I respect him, he's a helluva coach, he really is ... but he didn't like Rick Fox! He didn't like (David) Wesley. He didn't like (Danny) Fortson. You know what I mean ... we differed on a lot of things. But that was his opinion as the CEO, so he made the moves. Hey, he's where he belongs. He's a great college coach."

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Didn't the Celtics tank pretty hard the year Duncan was available? Wasn't Auerbach still involved in the basketball operations at that point?
    The only player that is more than a footnote in NBA history on that roster was Antoine Walker. Unless you expected the Dino Radja/Alton Lister twin towers to win some games.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    Yes, Red had surgery in '93 but he did have another heart attack about 1 to 1.5yrs after that (so I was wrong in my initial guess), then of course he had one when he passed. I know where Simmons is coming from when he's talking about Pitino, but Pitino would not have been able to do what he did if the owners didn't let him. I was just trying to quickly answer Trader Joe's question.

    Sorry to derail your thread. I do agree that tanking is not the right option.

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    Default Re: Red Auerbach: "Bird was like I was – win every game and let the chips fall where they may."

    ^
    Yes i agree, the owners were partly to be blame.

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