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Red Holzman: The Life and Legacy of a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach

Red Holzman: The Life and Legacy of a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach

by Mort Zachter


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The Definitive Biography of a Coaching Legend

Hanging high atop the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, is the name “Holzman” and the number “613.” That is the total number of wins by former New York Knicks head coach Red Holzman, which is the most in franchise history. While he spent six years as a player and another six as an executive, he’s most famous for his time at the helm of the Knickerbockers, where he led the team to their only two championships: the first in 1969–70 and the second in 1972–73. He coached the team for fourteen seasons during his illustrious career, was named one of the top ten coaches in NBA history, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986. Former MSG president Dave Checketts once said, “Red was the finest human being I’ve ever known.”
But not much is known about the soft-spoken and private Holzman, as he was the type of person to downplay his own accomplishments.
In Red Holzman: The Life and Legacy of a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, author Mort Zachter has taken on the challenge of sharing this coach’s incredible story. From humble beginnings as the son of immigrant parents growing up in Brooklyn, Holzman paved a path of excellence at every level. From his time in the Navy to breaking into the NBA and his rise through the coaching channels, author Zachter leaves no stone unturned.
With interviews with those who played with, against, and for Red, including Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Bob Cousy, and Walt "Clyde" Frazier to name a few, the life of a basketball pioneer—one that has since been held quiet—is shared for the first time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683582885
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 718,816
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Mort Zachter is a former tax attorney and tax professor at New York University. His first book, Dough: A Memoir, won the 2006 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Book Prize for nonfiction, and his second book, Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life, received critical acclaim. He currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Preface: Fanfare for the Ordinary Man ix

Prologue: One Night in Shreveport xiii

Chapter 1 "You Should Have Known My Father." 11

Chapter 2 "You Even Saw the Library Once in a While." 17

Chapter 3 "The Best Thing I Ever Did in My Life." 35

Chapter 4 "Like Being in Heaven." 45

Chapter 5 "The End of the World." 65

Chapter 6 "Kid, You're Going to Do Pretty Well in This Game." 89

Chapter 7 "I Coach Without a Clipboard." 111

Chapter 8 "See the Ball." 123

Chapter 9 "Hit the Open Man." 143

Chapter 10 "Did I Scintillate You with My Retorts?" 165

Chapter 11 "Never Let a Bald Barber Cut Your Hair." 191

Chapter 12 "I Don't Care if They're Red, Black, or Green." 207

Chapter 13 "You Never Think It Will Happen, and Then it Does." 225

Chapter 14 "You Don't Call Anymore." 241

Epilogue: One Night in Stamford 259

Afterword: An Ordinary Man's Legacy 269

Acknowledgments 271

Appendix: Selma Holzman's Chicken-in-the-Pot Recipe 275

Sources 277

Bibliography 279

Notes 283

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