Dynasty: Auerbach, Cousy, Havlicek, Russell, and the Rise of the Boston Celtics

Overview

More than half a century after the Boston Celtics' legendary first championship, here is a riveting inside account of one of sports' greatest franchises—between 1957 and 1969, winners of eleven titles, including a record eight in a row starting in 1959.In the spring of 1957, the Celtics, led by coach Red Auerbach, won a National Basketball Association championship for the first time. Auerbach had been building the team throughout the 1950s, but was still missing what he considered an essential piece, a single ...
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Overview

More than half a century after the Boston Celtics' legendary first championship, here is a riveting inside account of one of sports' greatest franchises—between 1957 and 1969, winners of eleven titles, including a record eight in a row starting in 1959.In the spring of 1957, the Celtics, led by coach Red Auerbach, won a National Basketball Association championship for the first time. Auerbach had been building the team throughout the 1950s, but was still missing what he considered an essential piece, a single player in the middle who could hoist the team on his shoulders by doing the dirty work of rebounding and playing defense. That man was Bill Russell.Author Lew Freedman, who grew up attending Celtics games and eventually befriended the players and team management, chronicles the team's glory years under Auerbach, Russell, and a legendary lineup of other talents. Revealing how he was swept up in dramatic moments both on and off the court, Freedman has penned a gripping book about a vibrant sports town, the greatest players in basketball, and an unprecedented run of championships rarely challenged before or since in team sports.
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Editorial Reviews

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In sports, "dynasty" is a term easily coined and frequently used, but the 1957-1969 Boston Celtics of Coach Red Auerbach qualify by any standard. In fact, during those thirteen years, those basketball behemoths won the N.B.A. eleven times. Lew Freedman's new paperback original narrative achieves what Celtics fans yearn for: the exciting revival of their home team's hard court dominance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762773565
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 798,678
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lew Freedman grew up in Boston and began attending Celtics games in 1960. Those teams and those players made him into a lifelong basketball fan (and writer). The Celtics were his favorite team in any sport. He stayed up late at night on school days listening to announcer Johnny Most on the radio. An uncle took him to NBA doubleheaders (back when the league needed them as a marketing tool). Best of all, he thought, the Celtics won the championship every year. If you were a young fan, how could you not be thrilled by that? In a different time, when the league was smaller and the playoffs shorter, the Celtics guaranteed playoff action every year when his birthday rolled around each April. Every year he asked his parents for Celtics playoff tickets for his birthday present and that's what he got.In the early 1960s, Freedman met several of the Celtics stars at public appearances made for what now would not even be considered tip money. His best friend's father owned a boys clothing store and brought in players like Havlicek, Tom Sanders, Sam Jones and K.C. Jones to sign autographs on Saturday afternoons. Because Freedman was the youngest son's friend, he got to hang out with the players in the back room. Freedman also attended Jim Loscutoff's basketball camp for a few years and his father was later friendly with Tom Heinsohn. During the course of a sportswriting career he has had the opportunity to meet and talk with several of the Celtics. In the last few years alone he has chatted with Sam Jones, Bill Russell, and only recently Bob Cousy. When he was about twelve years old, Freedman wrote to Cousy and he sent an autographed picture. Sam Jones once ticked off Chamberlain and the big man came after him. Jones famously picked up a stool to fend him off like a lion tamer. Freedman was in the Garden to see it. One of the most dramatic off-floor moments in Celtics history was Bob Cousy Day at the Garden when he was retiring. Cousy cried, a fan yelled from the balcony, "We love you Cooz," and fans provided a standing ovation. Freedman was present and still owns the program.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: Me and the Celtics vii

1 Raw Beginnings 1

2 A Man Named Red 8

3 Beloved Bob Cousy 16

4 The NBA's First Black Player 24

5 Building a Team 32

6 Wild Days in the Early NBA 40

7 A Big Man Will Provide 52

8 A Title for Boston 60

9 Dynasty Detoured 66

10 New Faces Adopt the Celtics Way 73

11 The Best Sixth Man in Basketball 79

12 No Black or White on Celtics 88

13 Rivals Rising 101

14 NBA Growing Pains 112

15 Wilt versus Russell 124

16 Celtic Unity Amid American Divisions 141

17 Cousy Rides Into the Sunset 153

18 He Shoots, He Jokes 160

19 Celtics Age, but Don't Fade Away 168

20 Red Retires 177

21 Havlicek Steals the Ball 185

22 The First Black Coach and More Titles 193

23 Russell Goes and So Does the Dynasty 204

Epilogue: Celtic Pride 212

Sources 218

Index 224

About the Author 230

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