Dec. 7, 1968

Bill Russell, center and coach of the Celtics, came down with the flu, leaving him home to listen to Johnny Most’s broadcast in the old WHDH radio 850 on your AM dial.

Jim “Bad News: Barnes took over at center.

Red Auerbach came down from his loge seat to handle the coaching.

Barnes scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds to give Auerbach his first coaching win in three years, 139-118, over the Detroit Pistons.

It was noted that Auerbach did not light his victory cig while the clock ticked down to 0:00.”No Smoking” signs were hoisted up to the olf Garden rafters, not as prominently as the championship banners, but there nonetheless.

Auerbach waited until he reached the locker room to light it up.

He said the $500 fine w a bit too steep, but for $100 he’d have enjoyed his cigar out on the bench.