NEW YORK, June 10, 2007 – Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell talks about his coach and, most importantly, his friend Red Auerbach for the first time since his passing on NBA TV’s Red and Me on Tuesday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET. Told in the first person, Russell discusses more than just the nine titles that he and Auerbach won together, but also the bond that made the two more than player and coach.

“We live and die, but while we are here there are things that we accomplish and to me the greatest thing that you can accomplish is friendship,” said Russell. “For me, personally, our friendship will last through eternity.”

Featuring rarely seen videos and photos of Russell and Auerbach from the extensive NBA Entertainment library, Red and Me demonstrates that what made their story special was the character and personality of the men who came to personify the Celtics Dynasty and true friendship. To the outside world, Auerbach may have appeared to be the gruff dictator, while Russell was his glowering big man, but behind their public masks were two kindred spirits who would not only dominate their sport but also challenge racial stereotypes. Russell, who has remained silent up until now about Auerbach, who died this past fall, reveals the inner workings of their relationship, the most successful one in the history of professional team sports.

Red and Me will air prior to the network’s pregame show Live at the Finals with Ahmad Rashad, which will air before Game 3 of The Finals at 8 p.m. ET.

During his exclusive interview, Russell talks in-depth about:

Red’s Bond with His Players
“One time we didn’t play an exhibition game in Kentucky. K.C. (Jones) went down to the restaurant in the hotel and they would not serve him. We decided we’re not going to play. I told Red that we are going home. Red went to the airport with us without saying a word. He was saying, ‘You are part of my team and I respect you if that is what you feel about the situation. You’re my team.’”

The Loss of Red
"I do feel a tremendous sense of loss because if you’re fortunate and you have a few friends, because they are so important, if they leave you before you do, there is an empty space. There is an empty space where there was a person in my psyche but also because he was obviously my friend. We came from such diverse places. We met in a common place on common ground."

Red’s Theory
“Red’s theory was 10 players, two baskets, 13,000 people, one basketball. And we will decide what is done with that one basketball.”

Red Making an Example of Russell
“After I won my first MVP, at the start of the next season, Red says, ‘Listen, Russ, tomorrow morning when we start practice, I will be all over you. I’ll be yelling and cussing and screaming. Don’t pay any attention to it. You’re the MVP of the League. If I can’t yell at you, I can’t yell at anybody, so when I yell at you, it is not for you, it is for the other guys.’ You know how you give people an unlimited budget. Well, he went over it. Oh, I got so annoyed at him.”

Red, the Card Shark
“We’d play a game some place and I’d see Red and he’d see me and say, ‘Do you want to play gin tonight?’ And we would stay up to three or four o’clock in the morning playing gin. I always lost. He was probably a better gin player than he was a coach and that is saying something. We would play gin almost all night and talk about the game.”

Red’s Policy on Curfews
“Red used to never have a curfew. I asked him why he never had a curfew. He said, ‘Because I have to be there to enforce it.’”