A simple goodbye to Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach

Wednesday, November 1st 2006, 6:25 am
By: News On 6

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) _ Red Auerbach was buried in a simple graveside ceremony today with Hall of Famers Bill Russell and John Thompson and commissioner David Stern among those paying last respects.

About 150 family, friends and special guests attended the private burial for the N-B-A great at the King David Memorial Gardens in suburban Washington. Auerbach died Saturday night at 89 after producing 16 titles for the Boston Celtics, including nine as coach.

Mourners chanted Psalm 23 and stood in silence as Auerbach's casket was lowered into the ground. They then chanted the Mourner's Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. Stern was among those who took part in the tradition of shoveling dirt onto the grave.

Stern said the service was appropriate for a man who was direct and often blunt, without much regard for fluff or ceremony.

Stern said even the ``utter simplicity'' of the ceremony under a warm autumn sun would have been more than Auerbach would have wanted.