Photo: SLAM/X

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle showed major appreciation for the late great Red Auerbach after passing him on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list earlier this week (earned his 939th career victory in a 133-111 Monday night home win vs. the Brooklyn Nets).

(via Indiana Pacers):

“I don’t have a whole lot to say about it other than I’m really grateful to Red for drafting me in the third round almost 40 years ago. When you get drafted into the NBA, you get a shot, and I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and my playing career led to a coaching opportunity and the Celtics lineage had a lot to do with it because Bill Fitch had been the Celtics coach. He was the guy who offered me my first coaching job off my last playing opportunity in New Jersey. Without Red, none of this probably happens. It’s really hard to say how it all would have gone. That’s an amazing man, an amazing person in the history of the game. 

“When I was an assistant trying to become a first-time head coach, I took a sabbatical year 2000-2001, did some broadcasting work with the Sonics. When we were in DC, I had a chance to go to Red’s office and talk to him privately about things to really focus on as I was trying to make that jump. He had some very important observations about the game and where it was and things he thought would be important, and he was dead on. I don’t want to get into detail about it, but he was a man of great wisdom, one of the great competitors in the history of the sport, obviously. I think he still has more NBA championship rings than anyone in history if you count all his as a coach, a GM, a president. So, this is a great opportunity to remind people of the standards that he set. No one should ever forget Red Auerbach.”