William "Red" Holzman
A street-wise basketball gym rat, Red Holzman was the coaching genius behind the magic the New York Knicks brought to the NBA during the 1970s. Honing his skills during basketball's post-war era, Red played nine professional seasons and won a championship with Rochester. In 1953, Holzman became player-coach of Milwaukee, and shortly retired to devote his full attention to coaching, first with the Hawks, and later the New York Knicks. Holzman's Knicks, featuring a Hall of Fame cast, were a pressing, defensive-oriented, and fundamentally sound unit that played equally effective halfcourt and up-tempo basketball. A master strategist, Holzman used to proclaim, "If you play good, hard defense, the offense will take care of itself." One of the select few to win championships as both a player and coach, Holzman was named the NBA Coach of the Decade for the 1970s by pro basketball writers.