9.17.2012

Red Auerbach: The Esquire Interview (Part V)

"How the hell are you going to play for the title without Russell?" he answers.

He thinks about it.

Finally, he says, "I'll take Russell, Tom Heinsohn and Satch Sanders at forward, Cousy and Sam Jones at guard, K. C. Jones and Havlicek coming off the bench."

He does not say which of the best NBA teams he is matching up against, but clearly, in his mind, he is thinking about Jordan's Bulls.

"I'll tell you why," he says. "I think Havlicek, out of everybody, could have done the best job on Jordan. He's just as big, and he's faster. That would have been something to see, don't you think?

"I'd like to see that game," Auerbach says.

So we go over the Roster one more time, my all-time team, our all-time team.

At center are Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar.

Guards: Jordan, Magic, Cousy, West, and Robertson.

Forwards: Bird, McHale, Erving, Baylor, Pettit, and Malone.

"Okay," I say, "what's your starting five?"

"I didn't care about starting fives when I coached, and I'm not going to worry about it now."

"Forget starters. Which five guys do you want on the court at the end of the game?"

"Tell me who the other guys are, and then I'll decide how to match up. against them."

Isn't that just like the old man? Cagey to the finish. Waiting to see the other team make the first move. Waiting to light up his victory cigar.

ONE JUMP SHOP TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Jerry West

ONE HOOK SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

ONE SET SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Bill Sharman

ONE BANK SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Sam Jones

ONE BASKET OF ANY KIND TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Michael Jordan

BEST BALL HANDLER OF ALL TIME Pete Maravich

IF YOU COULD SEE ONE LAST DUNK The Young David Thompson

BEST SIXTH MAN OF ALL TIME John Havlicek

WORST FIRST-ROUND DRAFT CHOICE OF ALL TIME Sam Bowie (over Michael Jordan!)

BEST AGENT OF ALL TIME

BEST ALL-TIME AFROS Artis Gilmore Phil Jackson

BEST ALL-TIME NAME CHANGE Lloyd Free to World B. Free

WORST ALL-TIME NAME CHANGE Wally Jones to Wali Jones

CURRENT (JORDAN-FREE) NBA PICKUP SQUAD I'D SEND UP AGAINST ANYONE Charles Barkley Hakeem Olajuwon Shawn Kemp John Stockton Penny Hardaway Scottie Pippen (coming off the bench)

THE ALL-TIME HEAD-CASE TEAM Derrick Coleman Isaiah Rider Dennis Rodman Vernon Maxwell Spencer Haywood Fly Williams Marvin Barnes (and anyone else who ever played on the St. Louis Spirits) Coach: Bill Musselman

MOST UNDERRATED TEAM OF ALL TIME 1982-83 76ers

MOST OVERRATED TEAM OF ALL TIME The Bad-Boy Pistons

THE BEST TEAM TO WATCH, EVER The 1969-73 Knicks

SADDEST WASTE OF TALENT David Thompson

MOST ELECTRIFYING PLAYER IN THE NBA (PRE-JORDAN) Earl Monroe

THE ALL-TIME OVERRATED TEAM Shaquille O'Neal Elvin Hayes Dominique Wilkins Sidney Wicks Derrick Coleman Kenny Anderson (I should know--I overrated him). George McGinnis Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bulls version)

THE ALL-TIME UNDDERATED TEAM My friend Paul Westphal Walt Frazier Dave Cowens Nate Thurmond Sidney Moncrief Bob Lanier Adrian Dantley Marques Johnson Dennis Rodman (Detroit Pistons version

4 comments:

Lex said...

I made a decision. I compiled the 07-08 season a few months back and was going to age it a bit more.

Nah.

Gonna a launch it tomorrow, and go every other with 80-81.

Build some karma!

FLCeltsFan said...

Karma is good. I can't wait to parallel the two seasons as we go! Two championship seasons that arrived there in two different ways. What fun!!!

Oh! and this Auerbach interview is some of the best stuff yet.

Lex said...

At some point I'll post the 22-part Harvard Business Review interview with Red

FLCeltsFan said...

Any interview with Red is always good stuff. I anxiously wait that one too.

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