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RED'S LAST RUN AS COACH -- History of the NBA Finals Part 17
San Francisco would get an astounding rookie in the draft in Rick Berry.
The man who shot free throws like a girl was a bad motherfucker, and had all the freedom to create for such a lousy team.
Walt Bellamy was traded from the Bullets to the Knicks, in what would become the equivalent of getting rid of Sammy Sosa the year before the Bartman incident, where the Cubs were suddenly five outs from the World Series.
Oscar Robertson was 3rd in scoring and 1st in assists. Who does that ever?
Red Auerbach would get sick of all the jet lag from flying to L.A. and St. Louis and San Francisco all the way from Boston all the time, and so he would announce his retirement...implanting Bill Russell as player-coach at the end of the season.
This was why the NFL, run by the Flintstones, would start to incorporate the AFL.
Meanwhile Philadelphia was growing a mammoth.
They get a rookie from North Carolina named Billy Cunningham who was GOOD.
He averages over 14 points a game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Chet Walker, Lucious Jackson, and Hal Greer who would have 22.8!
There was also second-year man Wali Jones in the backcourt with Greer.
It would be the first time ever that the 76ers manage to win more games in the regular season then Boston AND beat them more times head to head.
Back then with only 9 teams in an 80 game season, everybody played each other up to 10 times.
The 76ers finally took 6 of 10 from Boston.
Wilt Chamberlain would become the all-time leading scorer in the NBA.
Bob Petit had the record initially.
The playoffs were all about Celtics vs. 76ers. Would they guys manage to measure up at long last?
Boston would end up in the Wildcard round against Cincinnati.
Lucas and Robertson take Game 1 in Boston 107-103 as they each had career playoff games.
They go up 2-1 in Cincinnati.
But the Celtics hold them to 103 points for the next two games, as they put up their 120.
Celtics advance just barely, 3-2.
In the West, St. Louis would get to play Baltimore with half their new team injured, winning in a 2-0 sweep.
St. Louis and Kerner would ONCE AGAIN...have to play Los Angeles.
L.A. goes up 2-0 at home and then 3-1 before St. Louis starts pounding at them with their front court and Petit doesn't miss.
They take the Lakers deep into Game 7 in L.A...but L.A. pulls it out 130-121.
The Lakers were going to the Finals, for the winner of the series that everyone was waiting for...
The hype leading up to Celtics and 76ers....would be unjustified.
The Celtics went into Philadelphia for Games 1 and 2...and KICKED THEIR ASSES.
2-0 in Philly, and now back to Boston.
Greer and Chamberlain put up 35 each and take Game 3 in Boston.
It would be their only win in this series.
Boston shuts their lights out. Celtics win Game 4 at home, and then take Game 5...going 3-0 in Philadelphia after fighting so long to get home court advantage in the season.
Celtics take the East, Lakers take the West.
The 1966 NBA Finals
Lakers take Game 1 in Boston in overtime, 133-129.
Boston knocks their dicks in in the next three games.3-1.
Yet the Lakers would then make the NEXT three games...very very difficult.
Each were close.
L.A. fights back, swinning games 5 and 6 121-117, and 123-115.
Then they put up the game of their lives in Boston for Game 7.
The Lakers will hold the Celtics down to under 100 points.
But L.A. trails by 2 in the final seconds, and K.C. Jones has the ball.
He dribbles out that clock.
Red Auerbach has captured yet another title in his last year as head coach.
The eight-peat has happened.
The Boston Celtics are the 1966 NBA World Champions.
AUERBACH TITLE-O-METER = 9