AJ was born in Brooklyn, the Williamsburg Section; Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Green point, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board.
Williamsburg is home to a thriving art community and is largely associated with one of its main thoroughfares: Metropolitan and Bedford Avenue. Many ethnic groups have enclaves within Williamsburg, including Germans
AJ was one of four children, first generation, Russian Jews. The family owned a delicatessen and dry cleaners. He did three years in the Navy before graduating from George Washington, with his masters.
A high school coaching job, grew to semi pro team ad finally to an opportunity with a struggling NBA franchise. AJ was only 5’11” and had battled asthma all his life. AJ was a man with faith, of faith without many signs of his religious beliefs.
He believed in the bible, especially the quote.” Act as if you have faith and faith will be given to thee.” AJ succeed at a D-1 program and as a coach because he believed, because acted as if, later he would translate it into the vernacular of his players:
“Fake it until you make it!”
“Decisions are made by those who show up.”
“An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise.”
AJ believed in the two maxims, in addition to Act as if. He also believed in defense, the fast break, playing the best player regardless race and having your bench provide a lift. He really invented the 6th Man concept. AJ believed in TEAM, teamwork and expecting the very best from each on the TEAM.Everyday each of us has similar opportunities, in our corner of the world; do we always look for the best player? Do we accept and demand more from ourselves? Do we believe?
Arnold Jacob was better known in life and perpetuity by his nickname, acquired because of his faming red hair. Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach, won nine NBA Championships.
A key to winning is getting the team to show up.
We want and each of us to “Show-up” everyday and be part of the decisions. Red’s quotes should open our thought process, and renew our dedication.