RIP Tommy Heinsohn

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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In honor of Tommy, I thought it would be therapeutic to put together an All-Tommy Team of Celtics who were going to be truly great some day:

PG: Milt Palacio, Orien Greene, Sebastian Telfair
SG: Ricky Davis, Jiri Welsch
SF: Jeff Green, Kedrick Brown, Adrian Griffin
PF: Walter McCarty (captain), Brian Scalabrine (co-captain)
C: Vitaly Potapenko, Greg Stiemsma

Coach: Ryan Gomes
"You know who Powe reminds of, is Moses Malone."
 

RorschachsMask

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In honor of Tommy, I thought it would be therapeutic to put together an All-Tommy Team of Celtics who were going to be truly great some day:

PG: Milt Palacio, Orien Greene, Sebastian Telfair
SG: Ricky Davis, Jiri Welsch
SF: Jeff Green, Kedrick Brown, Adrian Griffin
PF: Walter McCarty (captain), Brian Scalabrine (co-captain)
C: Vitaly Potapenko, Greg Stiemsma

Coach: Ryan Gomes
Bruno Sundov has to be in there somewhere.

“The way he blocks shots and keeps them inbounds reminds me of Bill Russell”.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Jun 14, 2013
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I wish someone would put together a collection of him going ballistic over calls/non-calls/dirty plays. I’ve looked on YouTube in the past and there’s a relative dearth of this material, considering how much he’s generated over the years.
It was always a treat when Mike and Tommy got to call a LeBron game.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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In honor of Tommy, I thought it would be therapeutic to put together an All-Tommy Team of Celtics who were going to be truly great some day:

PG: Milt Palacio, Orien Greene, Sebastian Telfair
SG: Ricky Davis, Jiri Welsch
SF: Jeff Green, Kedrick Brown, Adrian Griffin
PF: Walter McCarty (captain), Brian Scalabrine (co-captain)
C: Vitaly Potapenko, Greg Stiemsma

Coach: Ryan Gomes
Honorable mention has to go to Aron Baynes:
“I took a look at Baynes in the shower. He looks like all of Australia!”
 

mauidano

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A legend as a player and broadcaster. Don Nelson has some great Tommy stories as do many others. Hopefully they are shared widely over the next few days.
I'll be over at Nellie's daughter's house this weekend here on Maui. They live next door to each other. Feeling for Nellie. His contemporaries are all leaving.
 

Jimbodandy

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Guy won RoY when Eisenhower was finishing his first team. As a player, coach, and broadcaster, he has been a part of 87% of the NBA seasons.

And he was good at all of these things.

Sad to see him go.
 

bakahump

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My 12 yo told me. So glad we got to watch some games with Tommy. Hes telling his buddies now.....and explaining who Tommy was. Proud Papa.
 

54thMA

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Very sad news, sorry to hear about this.

My Aunt had cancer and she was getting treatment at a facility, as was Tommy's wife. After seeing Tommy in the waiting area a few times, my Uncle decided to say hello. Tommy treated my Uncle like a prince, was very gracious with his time at a time when he really did not have to be, they became friends under difficult circumstances.

When my Aunt died, Tommy came to the wake, my Uncle Harry introduced him to me as "My friend Tommy Heinsohn", I know my Uncle got a kick out of that.

Shows you what kind of a person he was, just a class act.

My Uncle died on April 14th of this year from COVID, on Greek Easter of all days, he was 94.

RIP Tommy, say hello to my Aunt Athena and Uncle Harry up in heaven for me, they'll be at the same table sitting next to my Dad..........................
 

Kliq

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I'll be over at Nellie's daughter's house this weekend here on Maui. They live next door to each other. Feeling for Nellie. His contemporaries are all leaving.
Basketball has an inordinate amount of its great players that are still alive, well into their 80s and even 90s. This is a contrast to baseball, who seem to be losing hall of fame players by the day. Most of the names from the golden era of the NBA (Pettit, Cousy, Russell, Oscar, Baylor, West) are all still with us. Since the MVP award was first given out in 1956 (won by Pettit) the only MVPs that have died are Wilt, Wes Unseld, Moses and Kobe. That seems pretty remarkable to me.
 

RoDaddy

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The ultimate Celtic with soooo many great moments and memories:
- the 37, 23 to help clinch the first championship for this greatest of franchises
- the all-star career
- the famous hook shot
- I remember him calling games on old channel 56. Red was a sometimes guest who'd yell, bang the table and swear during the game action and it wasn't bleeped out!
- the great coaching of a good not great team to two - almost three - championships. I most remember his time outs when he'd get pissed at how things were going and stand up and irritatedly move his top hand over the bottom in a T-sign
- the great Gorman announcing partnership

He was bigger than life in every way!
 
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128

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I went to Bill Russell's Twitter timeline to see if he had anything to say about Tommy, and the GOAT hasn't tweeted since Oct. 23.

Hope he's OK. Russell hasn't hesitated to weigh in on politics, so it's not like him to stay silent.
 

Nator

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Oh man. I had the chance to Meet Tommy on Halloween night in Memphis, TN in 2003. It was NBA opening night and the C's were playing The Grizzlies. I was dressed up as "The Truth Fairy".
The Celtics won on a last second shot, and Vin Baker poured in 21 points (his first and probably best game as a Celtic). Afterwards, I approached the announcers table, and once Tommy got done with his broadcast he takes off his headphones and bellows in classic Tommy form, "THERE HE IS! THERE'S MY GUY!" He was nice enough to take a picture next to some rando dressed up like an ass in a pink fairy dress. RIP Tommy. Objectivity in broadcasting was not his strong suit, and Celtics fans wouldn't want it any other way.


36231
 
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mwonow

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Sep 4, 2005
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This is really sad. I remember him as a coach not player, and of course as a broadcaster, and loved him in both roles. The Tommy Cs vs Billy C Sixers was must watch on the bench as well as on the floor!

Edit to add: IIRC, he and Russell joined the team at the same time, in an era when rookies ran errands. Then there was a gap before the next rook made the club, and since nobody ever treated Russ like a rookie, Tommie got stuck with errand boy duty for several years...
 

Kliq

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I went to Bill Russell's Twitter timeline to see if he had anything to say about Tommy, and the GOAT hasn't tweeted since Oct. 23.

Hope he's OK. Russell hasn't hesitated to weigh in on politics, so it's not like him to stay silent.
FWIW I'm pretty certain that Russell does not actually run his Twitter account, I think his daughter runs it for him.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm not sure if they'll rebroadcast but Gorman has been on for awhile on NBC Sports Boston and going on and on about the whole history of Tommy and their relationship. I'm not sure when they started, but it's must see for a C's fan and Gorman is the best. If you're a hard core C's fan you've probably heard most of it before but seeing Gorman deliver it soon after his death and how happy he is to have spent years with him is great.
 

bakahump

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This is really sad. I remember him as a coach not player, and of course as a broadcaster, and loved him in both roles. The Tommy Cs vs Billy C Sixers was must watch on the bench as well as on the floor!

Edit to add: IIRC, he and Russell joined the team at the same time, in an era when rookies ran errands. Then there was a gap before the next rook made the club, and since nobody ever treated Russ like a rookie, Tommie got stuck with errand boy duty for several years...
He carried Celtic water for 63 years.
 

Duende Roomer

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Jeez. Cousy sounds great!

For all everyone says about Tommy being a homer, he was great on the national broadcasts as well. It was so much fun to be able to hear him doing games from the 80's during the COVID break. He was always able to give you such a unique perspective.

"Boy does it hurt when you know it's not going to be your ring." - Heinsohn, Game 7 1984
 

joe dokes

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I'll be over at Nellie's daughter's house this weekend here on Maui. They live next door to each other. Feeling for Nellie. His contemporaries are all leaving.
I thought of Cooz. The oldest one (92) . He was older than all of them and outliving all of them.
 

Ale Xander

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Goddamn it 2020

I guess now I know why we saw so much of Scal.

RIP Tommy, you were the best NBA color commentator

Infinity Tommy points for you.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Goddammit ... I didn’t even know he was ill. Heinsohn, Nellie, Clyde Frazier, Jim Barnett ... these guys are/were national treasures, and a huge part of what I love about the NBA. Fonts of wisdom, passion, and wit; connections to a bygone, simpler, cooler age. I could listen to them share hoops anecdotes all day...

Sigh. RIP Mr. Heinsohn. And as others have noted: fuck you, 2020.
 

Melrose Diner

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Tommy was the voice of my youth. Even when I used to go to the Garden for games I'd always peek down at the broadcast booth during big moments because I knew he'd be losing his mind. A true legend and one of Holy Cross' finest.
 

radsoxfan

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2020 man, just continuing its rampage. An absolute legend in every way. I’ll miss him in the booth.

The list of those who personify the NBA more than Tommy Heinson is very short.
 

sheamonu

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"I'll say this about Tommy. He never shot unless he had the ball." The first Celtics coach I ever remember and someone who it was fun to listen to. Also maybe one of the great renaissance men of his time. RIP Tommy.
 

Strike4

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He is the living embodiment of Celtics pride. I grew up listening to him every game and I'm sure some on here grew up watching him play and then broadcast. He's the kindest, most selfless person. When I moved away from the area, any time that NBA TV picked up a Celtics broadcast with Mike and Tommy it brought a piece of home into my living room. He will forever be one of the two voices I will always associate Celtics basketball with.
Great post and great sentiments. Little things in life like a familiar sports announcer are nonetheless important.
 

Harry Hooper

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In honor of Tommy, I thought it would be therapeutic to put together an All-Tommy Team of Celtics who were going to be truly great some day:

PG: Milt Palacio, Orien Greene, Sebastian Telfair
SG: Ricky Davis, Jiri Welsch
SF: Jeff Green, Kedrick Brown, Adrian Griffin
PF: Walter McCarty (captain), Brian Scalabrine (co-captain)
C: Vitaly Potapenko, Greg Stiemsma

Coach: Ryan Gomes

Doesn't Acie Earl belong in that contingent?



Kliq, that was terrific stuff.
 

chilidawg

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Very sad news, sorry to hear about this.

My Aunt had cancer and she was getting treatment at a facility, as was Tommy's wife. After seeing Tommy in the waiting area a few times, my Uncle decided to say hello. Tommy treated my Uncle like a prince, was very gracious with his time at a time when he really did not have to be, they became friends under difficult circumstances.

When my Aunt died, Tommy came to the wake, my Uncle Harry introduced him to me as "My friend Tommy Heinsohn", I know my Uncle got a kick out of that.

Shows you what kind of a person he was, just a class act.

My Uncle died on April 14th of this year from COVID, on Greek Easter of all days, he was 94.

RIP Tommy, say hello to my Aunt Athena and Uncle Harry up in heaven for me, they'll be at the same table sitting next to my Dad..........................
This is a great story, thanks for sharing.

He'll always be the voice and face of the Celtics for me.
 

Devizier

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One of my earliest memories of the NBA was “BING BANG BOOM DANA BARROS!!!” I will miss the hell out of Tommy, and I’m not one who usually gets attached to celebrities.
 

Van Everyman

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I'm not sure if they'll rebroadcast but Gorman has been on for awhile on NBC Sports Boston and going on and on about the whole history of Tommy and their relationship. I'm not sure when they started, but it's must see for a C's fan and Gorman is the best. If you're a hard core C's fan you've probably heard most of it before but seeing Gorman deliver it soon after his death and how happy he is to have spent years with him is great.
It’s great:

View: https://youtu.be/7gsw9-BwNAE
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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When a sports talk show was on about race in sports James Brown hinted that Tommy Heinsohn always says that Magic and the black players have natural ability but the white players like Larry Bird are blue collar players who worked harder. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tommy said that Bill Russell and Magic were the two smartest players he ever saw. That pissed me off. I wrote a letter to Brown saying he didn't know what he was talking about.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
647
Drexel Hill Pa.
Tommy had 2 personalities. On CBS he was very objective despite what Celtic haters say. On the Celtics network......worse then Johnny Most, LOL. I think he and Jack Edwards are the two biggest homers in Boston sports broadcasting history. And a darn good head coach too and player.
 

mikeot

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Of all the colossal losses this year - Cummings, Lewis, RBG, then Trebek - this one actually feels like losing a family member. Any hometown broadcast of a C’s game for the past three decades I’ve lived out of market has been a joy, mostly because of Tommy.
 

Stanley Steamer

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Jan 11, 2012
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First off, I want to join the chorus of respect for Tommy Heinsohn. I never got to see him play, but listened to him for years and knew him for the all-around Celtic legend that he is and was. RIP.
Secondly, enough with the 2020 misery fest. When a man dies at 86, let alone a tall, overweight man, it's not horrible, it's completely natural. In most cases, it's actually a blessing. He had a full life, longer than average. Let's celebrate his life instead of somehow feeling that 2020 robbed us of something. Similarly with Alex Trebek, who by all accounts was a great person. But he lived well into his eighties despite having pancreatic cancer for years. He deserves all our praise and remembrance, but no one is getting screwed here.
Sorry if this seems disrespectful.
 
Jul 18, 2005
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It's less disrespectful than pedantic; all people mean is that this year has been full of enough psychic damage that seeing yet another beloved figure pass away feels like one more unnecessary turn of the screw.
 

Van Everyman

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NBC Sports Boston coverage tonight was terrific. They had Draper and Scal interviewing people in the studio (wish Abby had been there), an older biography of Tommy with great clips of players like Cousy, Russell and Havlicek and his playing and coaching days and re-ran their 30th anniversary of Mike and Tommy special which was from 2011. Lots of great content and insights.

An impressive haul for a station that has largely been passed around for a while now.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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NBC Sports Boston coverage tonight was terrific. They had Draper and Scal interviewing people in the studio (wish Abby had been there), an older biography of Tommy with great clips of players like Cousy, Russell and Havlicek and his playing and coaching days and re-ran their 30th anniversary of Mike and Tommy special which was from 2011. Lots of great content and insights.

An impressive haul for a station that has largely been passed around for a while now.
Abby's IG is pretty touching. As a side note, they need to bring her back - I have no way to know it but I would like to believe that Tommy would want that.