Courtesy of Corbis-Bettmann

Red Auerbach 1917-2006

As basketball coach for the Washington Capitols, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, and the Boston Celtics, Arnold "Red" Auerbach was one of the most successful team officials in the history of American professional sports. Well-known for smoking a cigar when he thought his team had clinched a win, Auerbach won 938 games, nine NBA championships as coach, and seven NBA titles as general manager and team president. He was vital in breaking down color barriers in the NBA and transformed basketball into a game of team play and tough defense rather than of individual feats. Auerbach was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969.