Heard several interesting interviews with and about the late Red Auerbach today. One of the best was on NPR in Silicon Valley (I think it was a Santa Cruz station) around 5 p.m. today … an Auerbach biographer was talking about the way Auerbach built and managed a team. He knew who was good at passing, who was good at rebounding, who was good at scoring, and so on. That’s what he asked them to do — rather than doing it all.
Also: at press conferencs after a victory, Auerbach talked very, very briefly, and then told reporters to talk to his team, as they were the ones who won. After a loss, he spent almost as much time as reporters wanted, because he felt at fault. He didn’t feel that his players, who were trying their best, needed to explain what happened.
Auerbach wasn’t necessarily trying to be a diversity pioneer when he made Bill Russell coach; he was merely managing in a colorblind fashion and the candidate he wanted was black.
Apparently he saw talent and not color.