- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2006

Last night at Verizon Center


One of the most often-heard comparisons to Red Auerbach — the Boston Celtics coaching legend who died last week — is Phil Jackson, who won nine NBA titles just like Auerbach.

Tommy Heinsohn, one of the most animated television analyst in the business — he does Celtics games these days — coached the Celtics for nine seasons (1969-78), winning two championships.

A close friend of Auerbach’s, Heinsohn feels that there is simply no comparison between the two coaches.

“They ask you to compare those two all the time and I really don’t think they compare,” Heinsohn said. “For one, Red’s impact spanned generations. Everything I learned from coaching I learned from him.”

But the biggest difference, according to Heinsohn, is probably the argument that does indeed sway the pendulum in Auerbach’s favor.

“He never walked right into teams that had been built by somebody else. He did the building,” Heinsohn said.

Point taken. Michael Jordan arrived in Chicago before Jackson, and both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were already playing for the Lakers when Jackson was hired.


2 Shot-clock violations committed by the Celtics in the second half.

— John N. Mitchell

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