No one could fill Red Auerbach’s shoes. But if anyone could try, it would be five-time league MVP and wearer of size 14-and-a-half Bill Russell. “Red has assured me sincerely that he wanted me to take the job,” said Russell, the first Black head coach of any major North American sports team, upon his appointment ahead of the 1966-67 campaign. Russell found great success as player-coach and led the Celtics to the Eastern Division Finals. Though they fell in the series, Boston rebounded by winning consecutive titles in the following two years.
( C ) NBA/Celtics