If Celtics fans feel devastated by Gordon Hayward's injury last night, realize how low this fine young man and his team mates feel. Too early to tell, but in any case we want Gordon back with us ASAP. For now, let's move on to some good news.
I loved Red Auerbach, and the Celtics still wear his imprint to this day. This terrific Celtics coach and executive suffered severe indignities from two individuals, Rick Pitino and John Y. Brown, Jr., during Red's time with his team. This article deals with only Pitino.
Rick has now been fired by the University of Louisville after a unanimous vote by the school's athletic board. Louisville's basketball program had been implicated in recruiting and escorts-for-recruits scandals. Pitino has been ousted from the university.
This article about a giant with mental and physical toughness (Red)- and true compassion- was simply not going up without references to a member of his progeny. Gordon, we need you back.
Long-term Celtics fan remembers Rick's entry into the Celtics organization. He came in like the grim reaper, clearing out anything in his path that he didn't view as beneficial to his destiny. One of those blocking his path was the beloved, feisty Red Auerbach.
Pitino took possession of Red's title of Celtics President and sent him to the back room. Auerbach was always a proud man who backed up the pride with accomplishments. Pitino's arrival and actions had to be devastating to him.
Rick sent another Rick (Fox) packing. Fox earned three championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers. Pitino drafted Chauncey Billups and sent him on his way in Chauncey's rookie year, never giving him a chance to progress. Billups became a five-time All-Star and an NBA champion.
As the Celts compiled a losing record, Pitino blasted the Boston fans for not supporting him and the team. It was never about the team. It was always about him. It was about Rick. He could not stand to lose.
Now he is gone from the Celtics, Louisville and from basketball altogether. He never should have been here. It was a dark time for the Celtics and their fans. Times for the Celts are good now. Auerbach set the stage. "Outlive the bastards" was the stance he took against his enemies. He did not outlive Pitino, but he was more successful and a much finer individual. Smile and light the cigar, Red. Another victory. Now we can use another one, the timely return of Gordon Hayward.
Red Auerbach photo via Wikipedia
Rick Pitino photo via Alton Strupp/The Courier Journal