Tommy Heinsohn, Legendary Boston Celtics Player and Coach, Dies at 86

by Charles Craighill
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Tommy Heinsohn, the legendary player and coach for the Boston Celtics, passed away at the age of 86 after a string of health issues. Heinsohn was a Boston Celtic for life. From player to coach to a broadcaster, he bled green until the day he died. Many have taken to social media to remember his legacy.

“For all of his accomplishments as a player, coach, and broadcaster, it is Tommy’s rich personality that defined the man,” the Boston Celtics said in their statement. “There isn’t a generation of Celtics fans for whom Tommy’s presence hasn’t been felt.” 

He began his career with the Celtics in 1957 winning rookie of the year honors. The Celtics went on to win their first championship that same year. Tommy Heinsohn was the best player on the court for that game seven. This was merely a glimpse at the tremendous success his career would bring.

While his career only spanned over the course of nine years (1956-1965), Heinsohn gained a lifetime of accomplishments. In those seasons, Heinsohn made it to six All-Star teams. He also brought home eight championships for the Boston Celtics and was the leading scorer for four of them. The Boston Celtics retired his number 15 with him in 1965. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player 21 years later.

Tommy Heinsohn Coaching Career

Four years after his retirement, Red Auerbach named Tommy Heinsohn head coach of the Boston Celtics in 1969. As a coach, he led the Celtics to championships in the years of 1974 and 1976. In 1973, he was named coach of the year when the Celtics won a record 68 games. After his retirement, the NBA inducted Heinsohn into the Hall of Fame as a coach in 2015.

As a player, as a coach, as a broadcaster, the sports world will miss Tommy Heinsohn. From his charming personality to his enthralling voice, he truly encapsulated goodness in the NBA. May he rest in peace.

[H/T The Boston Celtics]

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