Fans of the Celtics–and sports history–are no doubt licking their chops over news that a vast array of items from the legendary coach’s career are about to go up for bid.
Among the memorabilia to be offered are significant Celtics championship rings, important awards, game used items, autographed pieces, personal effects and ephemera.
- Auerbach’s 1968 Hall of Fame ring, and championship rings from 1974 and 1981 (Larry Bird’s rookie season)
- Presentational cigar humidor from the 1954-55 Boston Celtics with engraved team signatures
- 1950 Bob Cousy game-worn rookie jersey from Auerbach personal collection
- His 1957 Celtics satin warm-up jacket
- 1,000th career win trophy presented to him on Feb. 13, 1966 at Boston Garden
- 1961 NBA All Star golf bag
For more than half a century Auerbach was the personification of pro basketball’s greatest dynasty, the Boston Celtics. In two decades of National Basketball Association coaching, the combative, competitive, and inspiring Auerbach won 938 games, a record when he retired in 1966, as well as a then record nine NBA championship titles. In those 20 years, 16 with the Celtics, Auerbach had only one losing season while winning almost two-thirds of his games.
Auerbach was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969 and, 11 years later, was recognized as the greatest coach in NBA history by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America. That same year, 1980, he was inducted a second time into the Hall of Fame in recognition of his total contributions to the game.
After he retired from coaching after the 1965-66 season, having won his eighth consecutive NBA title and ninth overall, Auerbach served as the Celtics team president and GM for another 14 years and as the president solely from 1984 until 1997, and again from 2001 until his death. He also was the team’s vice chairman of the board and still a sought-after adviser well into the 21st century.
In his long tenure in Boston, Auerbach built three distinct Celtics championship teams: the dominating group that won all but one title in the 1960s, a second team that won two titles in the 1970s, and the last, great Celtics team, which won three NBA championship rings in the 1980s. Long after handing over the coaching duties, the iconic Auerbach attended every home game and protected the Celtics’ legacy with a proprietary pride. As Frank Deford wrote in Sports Illustrated in 1982, “Auerbach alone was the Celtics — substance and continuity, heart and soul.”