BOSTON (Ticker) - Red Auerbach, the cigar-smoking godfather of the NBA who turned the Boston Celtics into the most dominant dynasty in pro sports history, died Saturday. He was 89.
Auerbach, who had been in ill health for some time, "passed away suddenly," according to the Celtics' statement. The team has refrained in the past from giving details on his condition out of respect for his family.
"Nobody has had as much impact on a sport as Red Auerbach had on the game of basketball," former Celtics star and current broadcaster Tom Heinsohn said. "He was a pioneer of the NBA. He left his philosophy of winning championships, playing hard and playing as a team with several generations of players."
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