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EST. 2011

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Celtics Legends Series: Tom Heinsohn

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 18, 2011 at 2:22 AM

He's been in our living rooms,and he tells it like we all see it. He's got the Celtics back,and we love to hear him all season long. Of couse Tommy was player a player before he was handing out Tommy points.

Tommy Heinsohn Bio:

In 1956, Heinsohn was chosen as the Boston Celtics , draft pick. In his first season, Heinsohn played in an NBA All-Star Game, was named the NBA Rookie of the Year, and won his first championship ring. He was part of a Celtics squad that won eight NBA titles in nine years, including eight in a row between 1959 and 1966. In NBA history, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones won more championship rings during their playing careers. During his playing career, Heinsohn was named to six All-Star teams. On the day his teammate and fellow Holy Cross Crusader Bob Cousy retired, Heinsohn scored his 10,000th career point. His number 15 was retired by the Celtics in 1965.

Off the court, Heinsohn played an important leadership role in the NBA Players Association. He was the association's second president (following founding president Bob Cousy), and was instrumental in the league's acceptance of free agency following a showdown at the All-Star game in 1964, in which the All-Star players, led by Heinsohn, threatened to strike.

Heinsohn became the Celtics' head coach beginning in the 1969–70 season. He led the team to a league best 68–14 record during the 1972–73 season and was named Coach of the Year, although Boston was upset in the playoffs. The next season Heinsohn and the Celtics won the championship, and they claimed another title in 1976. He accumulated a career coaching record of 427–263.

Heinsohn's broadcasting career began in 1966, calling play-by-play for WKBG's Celtic broadcasts. He would spend three seasons in this role before becoming coach in 1969. From 1990–1999, Heinsohn was the Celtics road play-by-play man on WFXT, WSBK, and WABU.

In 1981, Heinsohn joined Mike Gorman as color commentator in the Celtics' TV broadcasts; they have since become one of the longest-tenured tandems in sports broadcasting history. Occasionally, Bob Cousy makes appearances with the tandem of Gorman and Heinsohn. Until 1999, the tandem of Gorman and Heinsohn were only exclusive for the Celtics' home schedule, except for several CBS games where Heinsohn is also involved. For a time in the 1980s, he was in the same capacity during CBS' coverage of the NBA Finals (with Dick Stockton) calling four Finals from 1984 to 1987, three of which involved the Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers, the rivalry that revived the NBA in the 1980s.

He also points out players who display extra hustle and are willing to "risk life and limb" to help the team by giving them "Tommy Points". One player in each game has exceptional play and hustle highlighted for the "Tommy Award". During broadcasts he is known for his sense of humor and indignantly questioning game officials when calls against the Celtics appear to be made in error.

Recently, Heinsohn has worked fewer road games due to age and health issues. Donny Marshall, the Celtics' studio analyst, fills in for Heinsohn during his absences. Heinsohn takes Marshall's place in the studio when Marshall is on the road with Mike Gorman.

Heinsohn is a huge part of Celtics lore. You can't take him for granted.I can't imagine a Celtics season without him,and it will be a sad day once he retires.



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