Red & Me

Location: Mr. Simms's Office

Mark Brown (student)
Alec Pellerin
Bryce Snyder
Joey Morrill
Nick Lainey
Jon Held
Yannik Fischer
Don Simms

- Name/Grade. Thumbs Up/Down With What You Think Of The Book.

General Questions
- Did you like the book? Why?
- Would you recommend it to others?
- Favorite part?
- What is the most important thing Russ learns from: Grandpa Russell, Mister Charlie, Mother Katie?
- Do you believe Russ was too arrogant as a basketball player?
- Did Russ’s stubborn attitude make him a better or worse basketball player?
- If Russ had listened to his coaches, do you believe he would have been as good of a basketball player as he was; better?
- Why did Red want Russ so much in the draft, after hearing to many terrible rumors?
- Should Red have shown more authoritative power over his players?
- Would you consider Bill Russell to be like a Michael Jordan?
- Would Bill Russell have ever been the player he was without Red as his coach?
- Would a player/coach relationship like that work in the NBA today?
- Did anyone else feel like this book was more of a biography than a story about him and Red?
- Is it possible that Red used Russell to promote civil rights for everyone?

Characters List
- Red Auerbach
- Bill Russell
- Mister Charlie
- Grandpa Russell
- Mother Katie

A. Whip: This can be done at any point or multiple times in the discussion. Go around the circle and each person talks for less than a minute. Other participants listen and can respond after the whip has made a full circle.
How did you like the book?
What did you care most about in the book?
What points do you agree or disagree with?
Do you think Bill Russell would be a good NBA coach? He coached the Celtics, Supersonics and the Kings.

Jon Held
Mrs. Walsh
Senior English: Creative Response Option D
12 September 2011

Asking for a raise,
Black men get paid less than white,
We move to Detroit.

I am at College,
A white man calls me snowball,
I won’t walk away.

I jump to block shots,
I’m told to stay on my feet,
We let up more points.

I dislike coaches,
They don’t understand my game,
I will not trust them.

Russ is the center,
You sold your soul to me coach,
We both want to win.

Nick Lainey
Mrs. Tommaso
Honors Junior English: Free Choice Reading Book Project
September 10 2011

Me: Hey, didn’t you read Red and Me?
Joe: Yeah, but I hated it though.
Me: Really? I loved it, why’d you hate it?
Joe: Well, Red treated Bill like he was the best thing that has ever happened in history. He spoiled him, and gave him too much freedom when coaching is needed. Bill would go sit in the bleachers and drink a cup of warm tea while the rest of the team would be on the court scrimmaging.
Me: That;s why it was such a great book. It interested me as a reader because of their relationship. They treated each other with a great amount of respect and that really kept their friendship intact. Without Bill playing the way he wanted to play, the team would have gone downhill. Red wanted to keep Bill happy because their relationship wasn’t just coaching, they were good friends and neither Red nor Bill wanted to lose that. If something was wrong with the team chemistry they would work together to fix it. They had the same philosophy, worked hard and you’ll win.
Joe: That’s not how teams work. The best teams are the best because everybody contributes and listens to what the coach has to say, no questions asked. Bill came up with his own plays for himself and Red would have them run them during the games, but what really should have happened is Red would incorporate Bill into the plays himself.
Me: That’s how they had so much success. They were friends and respected one an others input and when Bill had a good idea Red would adapt and fit it into the game. Red understood Bill’s knowledge of the game so what Bill said usually worked. Without Red treating Bill like he was better than the other teammates really helped in their success.
Joe: Well I understand where you’re coming from, but it wasn’t a good book.
Me: I disagree, but lets agree on our disagreement.
Joe: Okay, bye.
Me: See you later.

Mark Brown
Junior English
September 2011
Red and Me

On September 20th, 1917, one of the best coaches in NBA history was born. As the head coach of the Boston Celtics he won 938 games. This legacy that Auerbach lead is a huge part of basketball history and many wonder how he was so successful. The reason for this was his unique, uncommon coaching tactics. Red Auerbach was a very loud and vicious coach. After drafting Russell and starting him as a rookie, his team immediately rose. The Boston Celtics were the new number one. As a referee, I got to watch Red coach the games. Although Red was a very good, smart coach; He was very vicious and crazy. When I would make a call that didn't go his way he would get right in my face and start screaming. Before every game he would study the other team and the refs. That way he knew my style of refereeing; He would take every advantage as possible. One time the opposing coach got mad at him for lighting his “victory” cigar before the game even ended. So every game after that he lit his cigar. Every time there was a close call I would let it go because I knew that if I called it against the Celtics Red would destroy me. Other officials around the league knew it too. Red wanted to win more than anyone and he would do anything for it. Watching him scream and swear at a ref might look interesting to you, but it is very frightening. Red would get so vicious that it would be very disrespectful to the officials. As a coach Red was just trying to get what he wanted.

Summer Reading Creative Response
Run This Town - Jay-Z featuring Rihanna and Kanye West
Bill Russell wanted to play basketball his way. He constantly argued with his high school and college coaches about playing the center position by the book, over Russell’s newly fashioned style of defensive basketball, shot blocking. In context with the song either Russell playing the textbook style of center to please the coaches, or he was going to play the game his way because of its success, and for his satisfaction. “Life’s a game, but it’s not fair, I break the rules so I don’t care. So I keep doin’ my own thing.” In the end, Russell chose to play ball his way, and the outcome was his success.

Hard in Da Paint - Waka Flocka Flame
Going hard in the paint defines how Bill Russell played basketball. Russell fashioned a new style of playing defense. His style was straight up, man to man defense. He challenged his opponent to out muscle him, when the challenge arrived, Bill would conquer. Bill also created a new stat, blocked shots. Bill Russell was the first NBA player to be defined as a shot blocker, if you’re creating new stats, then whatever you’re doing must be amazing. Being an intense defender is what got Russell to the Hall of Fame. “I go hard in da paint, leave you stankin, what you thinkin?” Opponents of Russell are always left baffled after playing Russell because he that much stronger, faster and a better basketball player than his opponents.

Stuntin’ Like My Daddy - Lil Wayne and Birdman
Bill Russell’s father, Charles, was the role model that left the greatest impact on Bill’s life. Charles told his son, “give three dollars worth of work, for a two dollar pay.” Meaning you’ll be more valuable to your boss if you always have a great work ethic. Every time Russell hit the court, he made sure he earned his playing time by giving 100 percent of his effort, all the time. The song connects to the story of Bill Russell because Lil Wayne’s father figure in his life is Birdman. He helped kick start the “best rapper alive.” Wayne wanted to live the glamorous life with mansions and luxurious cars. Birdman taught Wayne the meaning of determination, and what it would take to make the millions. Wayne wrote this song as evidence that he’s living the rich life because his mentor.

Champion - Chipmunk and Chris Brown
Bill Russell is an eleven time NBA champion in his thirteen year career. Due to Russell’s success as champion and most valuable player, Russell was inducted into the Hall of Fame and NBA Finals MVP trophy was named after him in 2009. Russell didn’t win these championships alone, he had great teammates, and Red Auerbach to lead the way as the head coach. Auerbach was the only coach in Bill’s career to understand how to utilize him, because he knew how to use Bill, he won championships. “You made me who I am, from the words you said.” Auerbach knew how to treat and train Russell, thus, making each other NBA champions.

You’ve Got a Friend In Me - Randly Newman
Bill Russell and Red Auerbach had a special friendship. They were able to understand each other without words. For example, Red played Russell every minute of every game, he eventually noticed that Bill’s body wasn’t durable enough to handle it. Red allowed Bill to sit out the scrimmages so he could rest for games. Another example of their friendship is how protective they are for one another. When Auerbach was running his mouth at Wilt Chamberlain, Russell rushed to Red’s side when Wilt finally had enough. The song states, “And as years go by, boy our friendship will never die.” Russell and Auerbach’s friendship had lasted through each of their careers of playing and coaching basketball, it lasted until the death of Red, proving how strong their friendship was.

Joey Morrill
Summer Reading creative writing.

After finishing my round of golf and shooting a solid three under, the death of Red really started to sink in. I decided to carry his life on and treat anyone I saw like he would. Since he taught me so much I thought he deserved this from me. I thought to myself that my lifelong friend was gone and I would never see him again. I also thought of what kind of basketball player I would be if he never coached me. Would I still be considered the winningest player in team sports history? All that was because of Red’s coaching and how he taught me how to play. The ernest way he treated the game transformed me to respect it more than I ever would expect someone to.
Just a week later I went to Boston to attend a Celtics game for Red Auerbach night. It was their season opener, but more importantly it was a chance for all the Celtic fans to give Red all the praise he deserved. Being there that night brought back even more memories. Maybe it was the fact of being back on the court in Boston with the stadium filled to the top. The words of Red came back into my head as if it was right back in the middle of a championship series. These words brought a tear to my eye, maybe a tear of joy and remembrance of all that we shared. I also saw old teammates of mine that I haven’t seen for years and for some since our playing days.
We all shared stories in the VIP suite at the TD Garden. Hanging right in the suite on the wall was a picture of Red, smoking on one of his cigar as he always was. I always wonder what he would do now if he was still coaching. They wouldn’t allow him to smoke on the bench, he would for sure go crazy. On the other side of the suite was a picture of him and I holding one of our championships trophies in the locker room after winning it. Winning all those championships that we did together in that span of time never happens anymore. Too many players are changing teams to build a dynasty like we did.
When the ceremony started before the game, the public address announcer started by saying that the Celtics organization lost a huge part. He then proceeded to list all of Red’s accomplishments which seemed like they could go on forever and ever. After, he proceeded to ask us to look at the scoreboard for a video on the life of Red Auerbach. This movie is still the highlight of that night for me. It started by showing him in his early days before coaching the celtics. Then as it went on it came to the part where him and I began playing together. Many pictures were of him screaming at the referees as he always was. “Jesus Christ” and “Let’s get this god damn show on the road” were the ones that were thrown at the refs at least once a game. When it started to show the pictures of Red in his later days, that is where I saw the Red that maybe I will remember the most. He was always himself, maybe that was the only way to describe him.
When the game actually starts I keep an eye on Doc Rivers the head coach. His style of coaching is so much different. Then again I don’t think anyone can ever coach like Red. I keep an eye on Kevin Garnett also. My relationship with him has become very strong. His passion for the game is remarkable. I haven’t met many guys like him who put everything on the line every single game. I think to myself that the relationship between Kevin and I is seeming to be a lot like what Red and I had. Maybe all that Red had ever taught me is helping me mentor Kevin. Maybe perhaps I am becoming the next Red Auerbach. Nothing would make me more happy.