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Lot # 1146: Red Auerbach's Smoked Cigar

Category: Basketball

Starting Bid: $200.00

Bids: 1 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2023 Fall Classic",
which ran from 10/29/2023 7:00 PM to
11/18/2023 10:00 PM

Arnold "Red" Auerbach was the Hall of Fame coach of the NBA's Boston Celtics (1950-66), and when Boston had a safe lead late in a game, Auerbach would light a cigar and smoke it right on the Celtics' bench. An inveterate cigar smoker, Auerbach most likely wasn't (usually) trying to show up his opponents by the gesture but was just naturally allowing himself to relax. Displayed is a Red Auerbach smoked cigar. Auerbach coached three teams in professional basketball: The Washington Capitals (1946-49), Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1949-50), and Boston Celtics. Emphasizing a fast break and team play, the Celtics won nine NBA Championships with Auerbach as their coach. In addition, Auerbach was a part of seven more Celtics Championships as an executive with the franchise. Auerbach's lifetime pro coaching record is 938 and 481. Red Auerbach was a trailblazer in racial relations in the NBA, drafting the NBA's first African American player, Chuck Cooper, in 1950, and fielding the NBA's first all African American starting lineup, in 1964. Also, Auerbach named Hall of Famer Bill Russell as the first African American head coach or manager (1966) in any of the four American major sports at the time. The offered smoked cigar is about 0.75" in diameter and approx. 4" in length. No brand name is visible. The smoked cigar has been packaged in a 3.5x8x1" plastic box supplied by Lelands Auctions. The cigar's use is not dated, but as an offering, the cigar dates from (as hand printed on a sticker on the box) "Red Auerbach Cigar from the New England Card Show IX/Boston College High School/Morrisey Blvd. Boston, Massachusetts/January 6, 1996." The smoked cigar demonstrates great use, and, over the years, some of the tobacco leaves have dried out and cracked. Overall, the smoked cigar is in good condition, especially considering that the item is over a half century old. The smoked cigar is such a fitting memento for Auerbach, a coach long associated with cigar smoking. In fact, at least one Boston restaurant during Auerbach's heyday had a posted sign that read, '"No cigar or pipe smoking, except for Red Auerbach."

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