Red has a couple of great books out. The newest one is Let Me Tell You a Story and it is fantastic. I thought I would start with this one which was published in 1985. Here is what Red had to say about "Celtic-type players."
Whenever I hear someone talking about a Celtic type player it makes me feel good, because I like to think we've come to represent more than just banners and rings, although they're important, too. They symbolize the truth of what we've been preaching down through the years. The Celtics represent a philosophy which, in its simplest form, maintains that the victory belongs to the team. Individual honors are nice, but no Celtic has ever gone out of his way to achieve them. We've never had the league's top scorer. In fact, we won seven championships without placing even one Celtic among the leagues top 10. But on twelve of our championship teams we had six (and on four occasions, seven) players averaging in double figures. OUr pride was never rooted in statistics. Our pride was in our identity as the Boston Celtics. Being a Celtic meant you were someone special, because everyone knew the Celtics played smart, exciting, championship basketball. But this all starts with getting the right kind of players. My kind of kid had the ability to absorb coaching. He was a kid who'd react to whatever I told him. He was a nice kid on and off the court, not someone who'd be bitching all the time. Some kids become real pains in the ass once they get a taste of stardom. I wanted a kid who was great, yet never stopped being nice. Most of all I wanted a kid who was willing to pay the price, willing to work at winning. I wanted a kid who wanted to win so bad that he wouldn't think twice about giving me everything he had. that was a Celtic type player in my eyes. That was Frank Ramsey. That was John Havlicek. That is Larry Bird. But that was also a log of other great players who never received the lout ovations, who never got the headline stories, but who nevertheless were vitally instrumental to our success. KC Jones, Satch Sanders, Don Chaney, they're my kind of guys, too. (Sounds like the perfect description of Leon Powe too.) We were the first organization to popularize the concept of the "role player," the player who willingly undertakes he thankless job that has to be done in order to make the whole package fly. When I talk about role players, I'm not talking about the Sixth Man, and I'll tell you why. The Sixth Man role is something else altogether. We invented it back in 1957 with Ramsey; then Havlicek took it over when Frank retired in 1964. Paul Silas inherited it when he joined us in 1972, and he helped win two championships with the boosts he gave us coming off the bench. Today, Kevin McHale wears that hat, and it fits him just as comfortabley as it fit the others. The average player's ego tells him he must be in the starting five if he wants to feel important. But my starting five weren't necessarily the five players on the court when the game began; it was the guys on the floor at the end of the game who mattered most to me, because that's when you need your coolest heads and surest hands. Most teams start their five best players. But I stopped doing that. I began starting 80 percent of my best. What happened then? After five, six or seven minutes, everyone on the court starts getting a bit weary. That's when the substitutions start. So, while the opposition decreased its efficiency by bringing in a lesser talent, I increased ours by bringing in a Ramsey who'd either maintain the tempo we had begun or else turn it up a notch. Psychologically, this was very damaging to opponents who, instead of getting a breather, found they had to work even harder to keep up with us. Far from being unsung, the Sixth Man became a prestigious assignment in Boston. But when you talke about role players, that's something different. Playing roles which simply means playing to your individual strengths, not only makes sense for the ballclub, it makes sense for the players too, if they stop to think about it. Take Don Nelson. The Lakers placed him on waivers in 1965. That's how we acquired him, after everyone else had a shot at him and turned thumbs down. He was resigned to the fact that his career was over - until we picked him up and showed him how he could fit into the Celtics scheme of things. He ended up playing eleven seasons in Boston, and when he was done we retired his number. Today he owns five championship rings. What did we do with him? We used his smarts, his ability to shoot after one or two fakes, his skilles at boxing out. If we had just turned him loose and allowed him to float in the general swing of things - hey, that's why LA let him go! He wasn't productive that way. Look at a guy like Jim Loscutoff. He played nine years with us. He was our "cop" after Bob Brannum retired, but that wasn't enough to keep him in the league so long. Loscy made it on his defense, his boxing out, his ability to set great screens. If I had told him "Don't worry about all that other stuff: just get us some points," he might had lifted his average a little bit, but the other parts of his game would have suffered so much that we'd have had to let him go. Take Satch Sanders. With great shooters like Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, Bob Cousy, Frank Ramsey, John Havlicek and Sam Jones around, I didn't need any points from Satch, just like I didn't need any points from Russell. Sure I wanted him to take the shot if the other team insulted him by giving him too much room, but what I really wanted from him was outstanding D, strong, tough, relentless pressure on people like Elgin Baylor who'd kill you if you left them alone. Satch tells a great story on himself which sheds a lot of light on how we felt as a team. There was a time around his third or fourth year with us when he got to thinking that it might be nice to score a few more points of his own. So without being too obvious abuot it, he began taking more shots. One night he scored 15 points. Another night he managed to get 18. Meanwhile no one said a word about it. Our polisy was that the ball belonged to everyone; nobody had exclusive rights to it. If you thought you had a good shot, you were not only encouraged to take it, you were expected to take it. Then one night he scored around 20 points, and we lost. It bothered him all the way home. He thought about it long into the night, then came to the following conclusion: "All it takes to upset the balance of this beautiful machine of ours is one man crossing over into another man's specialty. So I decided that night that it was a much bigger claim to say that I was a memember of the world champions than it was to say I averaged 35 points a game. Once I realized that, I never worried about scoring again." Talk about a winning attitude! Satch epitomized the way we played the game in Boston.