April 28, 1966. Boston Garden. It was Game 7 of the NBA Finals and the Celtics were up against the Los Angeles Lakers for the fifth time in seven years that these two franchises had played for the championship. The Celtics were going for an unprecedented eighth straight title. And the Celtics did just that, beating the Lakers with a 95-93 victory.
Before Game 2, after the Los Angeles Lakers' comeback overtime win in Game 1, Red Auerbach, who had challenged the entire league to topple the Celtics from their reign by announcing he would retire after 1965-66 before the season started, announced Bill Russell as the Celtics coach for 1966-67 and beyond. Russell would be the first African-American coach in the NBA.
Red Auerbach retired in 1966 as head coach of the Boston Celtics after leading his team to 11 championships in 16 years. He was known for bringing great talent to Boston -- Bill Russell, Jo Jo White, Dave Cowans, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale. His plan of "sixth man", when a star player comes off the bench at key moments, dramatically changed the way the game was played. He further revolutionized professional basketball by being the first NBA coach to draft an African-American and the first to put five African-Amercian players on the court at the same time. Hailed as one of the best coaches in the NBA, Auerbach was the first coach in history to win 1,000 games.