Red's Last Motivational Speech as Head Coach
Thursday night, April 28, 1966, was eventful in Boston.
It was seventh game of the championship series against the Los Angeles Lakers and Red Auerbach's last as a pro coach. The Celtics were going for an eighth consecutive National Basketball Association title.
Auerbach, reliving the past, recently recalled his final pep talk.
"This one means $700 apiece to you guys," he told his team. "That's the difference between the winners' and losers' shares. Show me another way you can make $700 quicker."
The National Basketball Association has since grown from 9 to 23 teams and the playoff pool to $1.5 million, with the winner's share worth about 30,000 a player.
The Celtics beat the Lakers in that last game, 95-93, and Auerbach went out a winner.
Three seasons later, on May 5, 1969, the Celtics were again involved in a seventh game in the championship round against the Lakers. This time it was Bill Russell's final game as a Celtic.
Jack Kent Cooke, then the Los Angeles owner, ordered thousands of balloons to be released from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., to mark a Laker victory. They never were released because Boston won, 108-106, for its 11th championship.
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