Tommy Heinsohn had one of the most illustrious careers in NBA history. As a player, coach, and commentator.
As a player, Heinsohn played in nine seasons for the Boston Celtics and won eight championships during that time. He also coached for another nine seasons with the Celtics and won two more championships, along with winning the NBA coach of the year in 1973.
Recently, Heinsohn passed away at the age of 86. Heinsohn left an incredible mark on the league that many Celtics fans and fans around the league will miss.
The 6-foot-7 Heinsohn averaged just under 19 points and 9 rebounds in his professional career. Playing alongside Bill Russell over his entire career, he was able to make six all-star teams and four all-NBA teams. During his coaching career, Heinsohn only had losing seasons in three of the nine.
But the biggest thing fans today will remember is his bright and completely Celtic personality. He was one of the color commentators for the Boston Celtics for the past 39 years. Every game, for nearly the past 40 years, Celtics fans got the privilege of listening to him talk.
His love and pride for the team was very obvious. Not a day went by without him showing how much he loved the team. Through the good teams and the bad ones, Tommy showed up every night and gave Celtics fans something more to smile about.
Him and Mike Gorman helped develop the Celtic culture within the team and the newer generation of fans. Even as a commentator, Heinsohn was one of the biggest parts of the Celtics family. It simply won’t be the same without him on the sidelines.
All the iconic calls will forever be remembered. From the game winners on the ‘08 team, to “THE LITTLE GUY!”, Tommy Heinsohn will forever be a legend in the NBA’s eyes, and especially in the Celtics world.
Next season, there’s definitely going to be somewhat of a void when listening to and watching Celtics games. Rest In Peace, Tommy. What a career.
Image: Elise Amendola /AP