HOW IT LOOKS WHEN KERNER HAS EVERYTHING WORKING FOR HIM -- History of the NBA Finals Part 8

1958

Auerbach's first seven years with the Celtics had been everything he had hoped it could be.

He took the worst team in the game all the way to the championship. His own way.

But Auerbach was now Adrian Cronauer from "Good Morning Vietnam".

The huffy-puffy supervisors of this league were mad as hell that the troops actually liked Robin Williams.

It had worked against them thus far.

Every time they tried to kick Robin Williams off, send him on a leave, Kerner and his friends would take the NBA spotlight -- only to give us polka and stupid French jokes with bicycle horns.

When the powers that be, the ratings, the promoters, brought these hacks into the office, they were expecting some kind of congratulatory banquet.

Instead they got the message loud and clear -- the concerns of our fans have nothing the fuck to do with whether or not you play polkas or don't play polkas.

Kerner and his goons, hurt, countered with the following --

1) You've heard from the knowledgeable fans...but what about all the silent masses that don't know shit?

2) Our brand of basketball and business is indicative of a more sophisticated taste.

3) In my heart, I know I'm cool.

And so Auerbach would have his championship, his fans, and everybody in Boston waited to see more and more of them. 

Yet in 1958, Kerner and his guys would manage to send Auerbach to An Lac...in the wake of reports that An Lac had fallen into VC hands.

Auerbach had alerted the players and fans of the NBA that there was a real war going on here. Not just some fun little police action as the NBA had always sold itself.

This was a fight for relevance. When it came to all the things that matter -- money, pussy, pleasure.

But the NBA, aka US Government involved with Saigon in 1965...hadn't seen it yet.

Primarily because people were hoodwinked into thinking that simple sports was just simple sports.

For the next ten years, as strikes occurred, as the draft occurred, people would be so up on the fact that this was all a poor/rich war...that they would give enough support to what they believed would fix the problem -- the ABA.

Auerbach had already made strides in 1950...to do what it took the rest of man 20 years to figure out had to be done.

The ABA was the public's solution to a league where...very elusively...ABA particles were in the blood stream already taking care of the problem.

George Mikan after 1956 would retire and try to run for Congress in Minnesota.

He lost.

Mikan would end up cashing in his life insurance within five years of retiring.

He returned...and became president...of the ABA.

This small towner, the ideal victim of a system that Auerbach had been trying to silently fight, hadn't even gotten the fucking idea that this was all the real thing until many many many years later.

A guy who should have been working hard in the basement...had been wasting his time in the spotlight where he was being dogged by everything above him.

In the adult world, they make it so the first punch that gets thrown...means you're a bad guy.

This is how one curbs people who can kick their ass.

In Mikan's case, they made it so he couldn't throw any of his specialty punches.

Auerbach knew going in that this was the very first thing they WOULD do.

So Mikan's a dumb fuck.

And a Republican.

Mikan was still trying to figure out what went wrong.

He didn't understand that in a situation where integration was king...small town white people were the new black people.

After all, they wanted to go after whitey...but they didn't want to go after Kerner, white guys who actually did things that caused all this.

They went after the white guy who chose to be judged by his abilities.

Mikan.

And that was easy.

Auerbach, Jewish and creative, had long seen this coming.

He knew that having black players...despite what Boston Garden and other racists would say to them...were the SAFEST MOTHERFUCKERS IN THIS NEW GAME.

Auerbach knew, with tons of black players and coming from a Jewish family, couldn't be hit with the same treatment that was ACCEPTABLE TO GIVE TO WHITE GEORGE MIKAN!!!!

Yet this would cause something damning on the Celtics.

The white players...took themselves to be victims from the start of their dynasty to the end.

Bob Cousy would cry when recalling those times when he could have been more "sensitive" about the racial situation regarding Bill Russell. 

Cousy, Heinsohn and Sharmin however was able to infuse their desire to get respect, with the immediate fan support around them.

--------------

Meanwhile, the race baiters.

Kerner and company.

They had lost in the Finals in 57, and were making another run for it in 58.

This would be the year that the NBL would be at long last, completely decimated.

The small towners were being eliminated. It was only Syracuse left out of all those NBL teams. 

Fort Wayne would go to Detroit, and Rochestor would move to Cincinnati.

So now when Detroit and Cincinnati call...nobody goes to Fort Wayne or Rochester.

This by itself might not seem like a win for Kerner as much as this --

Detroit would have the game's top scorer, and George Yardley had about 2,000 points.

The Pistons made it to the Western Division Finals (conference finals), losing to St. Louis 4-1

From that on, Detroit would never let go of their Pistons.

The 1958 NBA Finals were also wack.

Boston had taken care of Philadelphia 4-1.

And so it was the rematch of Auerbach vs. Kerner.

Boston was 49-23, St. Louis was 41-31.

It would be Adrian Cronauer vs. his immediate supervisor who, according to Robin Williams, was "in more dire need of a blow job then any white man in history".

They fought to a tied series at 1 and then the series went to St. Louis.

It is here, in Game 3, that Bill Russell ends up spraining his ankle -- Auerbach discovering that his little Vietnamese friend...is Quon Duc To, a VC terrorist, and wanted for several bombings in the area, including the one at Jimmy Wa's.

Did you ever wonder how a little kid gets into and out of VC held territory without a scratch?

Kerner had showed Auerbach some pictures -- friends of Phon Duc To.

Then another -- of the friends gunned down and executed.

"Your friend," the supervisor says, "is next."

St. Louis won the title, as Bill Russell would prove to be Auerbach's only weapon against Kerner.

Bob Petit would be a master. 50 points in Game 6 to take the St. Louis Hawks only world championship.

From now on the fighting men in Vietnam would hear only what they were supposed to.

According to the haters and opponents...of Adrian Auerbach.

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