Arnold “Red” Auerbach: Basketball Coach and Cigar Enthusiast

Arnold “Red” Auerbach: Basketball Coach and Cigar Enthusiast


In past blog posts, we have looked at the lives of influencing public figures who, simultaneously, happened to be avid cigar aficionados. From Winston Churchill’s relationship with Romeo y Julieta cigars to Hitchcock’s weak spot for Montecristo smokes, Cuban Cigars Online seem to be attracted to true visionaries. NBA coach star and sports legend Arnold “Red” Auerbach, is another inspiring persona who was a big Habanos smoker too. Without any further ado, here we touch on the life, career, and love for Hoyo de Monterrey Cigars of the famous basketball coach, Arnold Auerbach.

EARLY LIFE – Auerbach was born in 1917 and was mainly of Russian-Jewish background. The oldest of four children, young Auerbach spent most of his childhood in Brooklyn, doing what he was always good at – playing basketball. Since that age, his fiery red hair and frenzy temper were responsible for his nickname “Red” which followed him for his entire professional career. Arnold Auerbach’s love for basketball lead him into joining basketball teams throughout his student life with his athletic scholarship at George Washington University in D.C. being the peak of them all. Having triumph during his academic journey, Auerbach graduated from Washington University in 1941 with an MA degree while, in the same year, he started coaching a school basketball team for the first time.

Red Auerbach's bronze statue holding a Cigar in boston EGM Cigars

A lifesize statue of Red Auerbach portrayed smoking probably a Hoyo de Monterrey cigar in Boston


FIRST COACHING STEPS – Two years after his graduation, Auerbach started coaching the US Navy team in Norfolk. It didn't take long for someone to spot his talent as, three years later, millionaire Mike Uline, fascinated by the coach’s technique hired him to coach Washington Capitols for the predecessor of NBA, the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The team witnessed some of its most glorious days during Auerbach’s reign with the Capitols making it to the BAA finals but, unfortunately, not winning the game. A few years later, the coach waved goodbye to the Washington Capitols and moved into taking over the assistant coach role for Duke Blue Devils while a few months after, the owner of Tri-Cities Blackhawks hired Auerbach to rebuilt the entire team.

BOSTON CELTICS LEGACY – From 1956 to 1966, the Cuban Cigars enthusiast coached the Boston Celtics for the NBA. Under his supervision, the team won nine championships, eight of which in a row. Overall, the key to the coach’s success was his very well-thought strategy. Auerbach aimed to strengthen the defence and, at the same time, capitalise on other teams’ errors with flashy offensive play.

Moreover, “Red” managed to break taboo in his time at NBA. He was the first to ever draft an African-American player, Chuck Cooper, and, also, the first NBA coach to form an entirely African-American starting squad into a game. But his determination to change the face of the NBA did not stop there. Before his retirement, Auerbach named Bill Russell as his successor, making him the first African-American coach in NBA history.

arnold red auerbach basketball coach and cigar enthusiast EGM Cigars

Top Left: Arnold "Red" Auerbach puffing his victory cigar, Bottom Left: Auerbach celebrating a Boston Celtics win with a Habano, Right Top: Red Auerbach coaching Bill Russell while smoking a cigar, Bottom Right: Arnold Auerbach lighting one of his trademark victory smokes


HOYO DE MONTERREY AFFAIR – During Auerbach’s era, smoking was allowed inside the basketball arena with many coaches puffing on cigarettes while on the bench. But Auerbach was not meant to follow but to lead. The popular coach took this allowance even further as he tended to smoke a “victorious cigar” every time his team was about to win. His favourite smokes you ask? No others than any of the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. Auerbach’s victorious smoke always infuriated both the bench and the fans of each opponent team. In particular, there has been one certain incident when, having once again been enraged with the coach’s behaviour, the management of Cincinnati Royals handled out 5,000 cigars to its fans - in order for them to puff when the team won. However, this whole plan backfired as the Boston Celtics won the game with Auerbach lighting once again his celebratory Habano.

Coming to think of all the great cigars that Hoyo de Monterrey produces, there is no wonder why Auerbach was a big fan of the brand. A popular Habano amongst cigar enthusiasts, the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto Cigar is perfect for a quick smoke. Beautifully bundled together with an imprinted ribbon, this cigar produces light yet interesting flavours, a puro that Auerbach would not be able to resist. Equally light in aromas but lengthy, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 1 Cigar is the thinnest smoke that the brand has ever manufactured. Featuring a Coronas Gordas vitola that measures at 143 mm long by a ring gauge of 46, this puro has one of the most adored formats by cigar aficionados to this day. Last, for those who prefer rare and Limited Editions Cigars, rest assure that the brand has just the right smoke for your exquisite taste. Made using high-quality tobacco leaves and expertly hand-rolled, the Hoyo de Monterrey Maravillas Cigar is capable of producing medium strength flavours, providing the smoker with a long-lasting smoking experience.

Hoyo de monterrey petit robusto cigar and epicure no. 1 cigar EGM Cigars

Left: Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto cigar, Right: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 1 cigar

From his childhood up until his last days, Arnold “Red” Auerbach spent his life doing the thing he loved the most – coaching basketball.  Like many successful gentlemen, Auerbach celebrated his wins with a victorious smoke at the end of each game. We cannot think of any reason why you shouldn't celebrate your own achievements by lighting any from our extended selection of Cuban Cigars for Sale Online. Read our most recent posts and learn everything there is to know about Cuban Cigars.

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