Red Auerbach: The Harvard Business Review Interview

Part 9

HBR: When you are thinking of making a trade or acquiring a new player, do you consult the players?

AUERBACH: Sometimes, sure. Our players are quite intelligent and they want the Celtics to be as good as possible. So I'd talk to a Cousy, a Havlicek, or Russell, or Bird and say, "Hey, we've got a chance to get so and so. What do you think?" Why not ask them? I've never had the ego to think that I know it all.

The coaching staff is also involved in every decision. I would never take it upon myself to force any player down the coach's throat. Because if I give a player to the coach and the coach doesn't want him, he'll resent it and the production of the whole team will suffer.

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