From Dana's Guests

My Two Cents: Don't Get It Confused

Auguste Roc Have you ever reached a point where you've just got to "go there"? Do you know what I mean? I mean -

that point where you just have to let somebody know who they're dealing with.

If you are a basketball fan then you know who Bill Russell is - one of the greatest basketball players of all time. If you are a hardcore basketball fan then you know that Red Auerbach was one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time.

Red Auerbach coached Bill Russell when he played for Boston Celtics.

In the early stages of Russell's NBA career, Coach Auerbach recognized the unlimited potential that Russell possessed. Auerbach also saw that Bill Russell would compromise his ultimate potential if Russell continued to allow players to physically punish and push him around on the court. Russell was a rookie and the veterans were taking full advantage of that fact.

Red coached Russell that:

If you want to be a great player in the NBA you're going have to let the rest of the league know. You're going to have to let them know that you can get aggressive, take a stand and fight back - if you have to.

Bill Russell was known as a nice guy. It was not his nature, necessarily, to demonstrate aggressive behavior on the court. But, he took the coaching anyway, because that's the kind of player he was.

In a subsequent game, played on national television, Bill Russell understood what he finally had to do. During a heated moment, Russell threw a forceful elbow, just as he was coached to do, that sent a message loud and clear - on national television, letting everybody know that he could "go there"

Nice guy, only now people were clear about who they were dealing with.

Auguste Roc

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