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First, let’s get the basketball credentials out of the way. Russell was the greatest team basketball player ever; his Boston Celtics won championships in 11 of his 13 years. Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach was the Celtics coach for the first 10 years of Russell’s career and later, as the general manager, assembled five more championship teams after Russell retired. Russell retraces the path of their lifelong friendship as it evolved from player-coach to professional equals to good friends. The relationship was always grounded in respect. Auerbach never tried to alter Russell’s then-revolutionary basketball style, nor did he ever interfere with or critique Russell’s involvement in the civil-rights movement. Auerbach’s Jewish heritage exposed him to some of the same prejudices Russell experienced in segregated Boston, though they never compared notes. Auerbach cultivated a public persona associated with words like gruff or curmudgeon that are partially accurate but woefully incomplete. He was extraordinarily intelligent, fearless, and sensitive to what would bring out the best in those around him. Russell understands these characteristics and has produced a moving tribute to his friend and, in a larger sense, to friendship. --Wes Lukowsky
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review by . April 15, 2013
Bill Russell (most recently seen as one of quartet of retired NBA Hall of Famers in the hilarious ATT commercials during the 2013 NCAA March Madness coverage) is one of the all time great NBA players with the distinction of serving as the on court leader of the Boston Celtics during a historic run of championships.  The focus of this books isn't on the championships but on the friendship between the player and the coach who engineered this great stretch of success. It was an unlikely and …
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