Many books have been written about Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusscherre and the other great players on the New York Knicks championship teams of the 1970s, though much less attention has been focus on the orchestrator of those teams: Red Holzman. Holzman was a fantastic player and scout before compiling 613 wins (a number which hangs in the rafters at Madison Square Garden) over 14 seasons as the coach of the Knicks. Holzman was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the top 10 coaches in NBA History.
But not much is known about the soft-spoken and private Holzman, as he was the type of person to downplay his own accomplishments. Former MSG president Dave Checketts once said, “Red was the finest human being I’ve ever known.”
In Red Holzman: The Life and Legacy of a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach (Sports Publishing, 2019), author Mort Zachter has taken on the challenge of sharing this coach’s incredible story. From humble beginnings as the son of immigrant parents growing up in Brooklyn, Holzman paved a path of excellence at every level. From his time in the Navy to breaking into the NBA and his rise through the coaching channels, author Zachter leaves no stone unturned.
With interviews with those who played with, against, and for Red, including Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Bob Cousy, and Walt “Clyde” Frazier to name a few, the life of a basketball pioneer—one that has since been held quiet—is shared for the first time.