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Off the Bench




Kris's older brother Dylan is an awesome basketball player. He's a starter on his high school team. Kris wants to be just like him. He wants to be a starter on his 8th grade basketball team, but he is stuck on the bench no matter what he does in practice or in the games.  Sure, the coach uses Kris as the team's first substitute, but that still means he starts every game on the bench.


Kris's feelings about being "the first guy off the bench" change when he learns about the history of the "sixth man" and how legendary coach Red Auerbach used a super sub to spark his Boston Celtics to multiple National Basketball Association (NBA) championships.


The History


Even before Red Auerbach coached the Boston Celtics, he used the idea of bringing in a "sixth man" from the bench to "give my other guys a burst of energy and (pick) up the whole team." Auerbach brought the idea to Boston where Hall of Fame players such as Frank Ramsey, John Havlicek and Kevin McHale came off the bench to help the Celtics win game after game and championship after championship.


Now the NBA has an annual award – called the John Havlicek Sixth Man Award – that is given to "the league's best-performing player for his team coming off the bench as a substitute or sixth man."