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Sports

May 8, 2008

Daughter: Auerbach would have loved this season

While Boston narrowly avoided a stunning first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, few could argue about Danny Ainge's performance.

Nancy Auerbach Collins, Red's eldest daughter, says the transformation of the franchise her dad molded would make even her father blush.

"The thing about Danny is my father always loved him," said Collins. "Danny was a scrappy player. He was a winner. He was my dad's kind of player.

"Before he (passed away), my dad wasn't thrilled with how young and inexperienced the team was," said Collins. "But he always thought Danny knew what he was doing. He would be so proud right now. He really wanted the Celtics to be great again and Danny has done it."

As for Ainge, there will be no cigars and especially no champagne coming his way if this Celtics team wins championship No. 17, which seemed like a pipe dream less than 12 months ago.

"I don't smoke cigars," said Ainge. "Red used to laugh after we'd win a championship and I'd be drinking orange juice and he'd be drinking champagne."

Ainge can drink anything he wants. As long as it is served with a championship trophy, even Red would approve.

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