Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty
So he says, "I'm going to make a list of six guys, and you make a list of six guys. And we find one guy that fits on both lists, that could be our new coach." There was no match. So he says, "Well, I'm going to hire this guy." I says, "Oh no. If you hire this guy " -- he brought his name up -- " if you hire him, I'm retiring with you." He says, "You mean that?" "Yes, I do. I'm not going to play for him. I don't even want to be in the same room with him." And so he said, "What do you want me to do?" I go, "Okay. I'll take it. You offered it to me first, I'll take it. But if it doesn't work -- and we'll see whether it works or not -- we can bring in somebody else, even if it's midseason and I will never complain and I'll play just as hard for him as I play for you." Because we were both interested in what was good for the Celtics and not what makes him look good or me look good or bad or whatever. It has nothing to do with anything. That's how I became the player-coach. But one thing I have to add is that, because I'm kind of hard-headed, I refused to have an assistant coach. And one of the reasons -- not the total reason, but one of the reasons -- was I knew that to do a good job right I had to completely, totally immerse myself into the position. And if I hired an assistant coach I would start laying off things for him to do that I should be doing, things that I watched Red do for ten years. See, he never had an assistant coach. Like one time he said to me, "Do you want me to hire you an assistant coach?" I said, "Yeah, we'll just hire one of yours." He had never had one!
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