Red Auerbach: The Harvard Business Review Interview

Part 16

HBR:What was your approach to putting the team back together again?

AUERBACH: I had to start from scratch. I picked out the best team in the league and said, "We've got to put a team together that's competitive with that team." Well, there was no way we could do it right away. You set a goal, you try for two or three years, and you say the hell with it, if we've got to suffer another year, let's do that. So we took Larry Bird, even though he wasn't eligible to play for another year. Then we made the deal for Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish. And the owner, Harry Mangurian, knew what had to be done and was behind me. He had a private plane in those days, and we flew out to Minnesota just to take a look at Kevin McHale, so Harry was with it.

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