How Celtics Influenced Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles Super Bowl Run

The owner grew up watching the Red Auerbach teams


Feb 2, 2023

Jeffrey Lurie was born in Boston, and his time watching the Red Auerbach-led Celtics teams would have a strong influence in his tenure was Philadelphia Eagles owner.

The 71-year-old prides himself as someone who goes against the grain in the NFL. Nick Sirianni was seen as a questionable hire, but in his second season, the head coach has led the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Lurie grew up watching the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, but there was one team that captivated the billionaire.

“Well, I’ve always thought that the sports franchises that make decisions based on what they think is right, it’s never going to be the popular one in that case,” Lurie said, per NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro. “I go back to Red Auerbach, because, to me, he made a lot of decisions that were not the popular decisions in the headlines the next day in The Boston Globe, but it was best for that franchise to continue their dynasty.

“Whether it was having Bill Russell be the player-coach, the first African American coach ever. Choosing point guard Bob Cousy. Red did things that were unpopular. The (Kevin) McHale trade, getting McHale to go with Larry (Bird), waiting on Larry. There were just so many pointers when I look back on the way he ran that team.”

The Celtics dynasty was pivotal in Lurie’s formative years, and the Eagles have won one Super Bowl in two appearances in his tenure as team owner. That influence has been reciprocal as Celtics forward Grant Williams has compared this season’s team to the Eagles in terms of how talent-rich and dominant both teams have been.

The decisions Philadelphia has made were questioned at the time and more likely will come in the future, but the Eagles have been able to build one of the top rosters in the NFL, and coaches like offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon are sought after head coaching candidates, which shows why the team always is primed to be a contender.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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