Red Auerbach spoke to 100 people at the Keith Academy Men Club in Lowell, Massachussetts on February 6, 1956 to discuss basketball and it was not without controversy. Red spoke about a wide range of topics from the rumors of him leaving the Celtics to talking about Wilt Chamberlain, Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, and the rigors of being an NBA coach. Here's part of an article by Gil Wood originally printed in the Lowell Sun on February 7, 1956.
Red's An All Right Guy
"Red" Auerbach, the colorful Boston Celtics coach, might be a pain in the neck to NBA referees, but he's an all right guy as far as some 100 members of the Keith Academy Men's club are concerned. Due to fly out of Boston early this morning for New York where the Celts play tonight; Auerbach nevertheless braved last night's storm to keep his speaking engagement at Keith auditorium. And, while doing so, "Red" enjoyed his assignment so much he talked three-quarters of an hour longer than he planned. His listeners ate it up in attentice silence during the interesting hour and a quarter devoted to Auerbach's and the Celtics' exploits in the fast pro loop.
The writer, who got to know Auerbach well when he used to bring the Celtics up to Burlington, Vt., for preseason exhibition games had heard some of the stories before, but the informal way Auerbach has of relating experiences makes just as interesting the second time. As "Red" hurriedly left the hall, we managed a question on the run which hadn't been asked him at the end of his talk. "How much longer do you think Bob Cousy will be able to play with the Celtics?" Without giving the query much thought, Auerbach replied "I'll give him three years." This endorsement from his coach should silence Cousy needlers, here or elsewhere.
The setting in the auditorium was ideal. Auerbach stood under the stage-end basket as he spoke and used the position several times to illustrate his points about players like Bill Sharman and the sensational Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain who he says should be the next big name in basketball for the next 10-and possibly 20-years. A freshman now at the U. of Kansas, Auerbach estimates the brilliant colored star will add half a million dollars to the university's treasury. And he also offers the opinion that when Chamberlain was only a junior in high school in Philadelphia he not only could have made any team in the NBA but he would have played in the league's All-Star game.