8.13.2008

Red Auerbach: The Harvard Business Review Interview

Part 4

HBR: What are some of the things that explain this special feeling?

AUERBACH: Well, it started way back, when Walter Brown owned the team. I had this theory, which we still use. And that is, a player's salary is determined by what the coaches see and what I see. What determines a player's salary is his contribution to winning --not his statistical accomplishments.

I don't believe in statistics. There are too many factors that can't be measured. You can't measure a ballplayer's heart, his ability to perform in the clutch, his willingness to sacrifice his offense or to play strong defense.

See, if you play strong defense and concentrate and work hard, it's got to affect your offense. But a lot of players on a lot of teams, all they point at is offense. Like in baseball they say, "I hit .300 so I should get so much money."

I've always eliminated the statistic of how many points a guy scores. Where did he score them? Did he score them during garbage time? Did he score them when the game was on the line? Did he score them against good opponents? There are so many factors.

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