• Kurt Crowley

Obit: Celtics Legend Tommy Heinsohn Dead At 86


Heinsohn's association with the Boston Celtics spanned 65 years as a player, coach and broadcaster, a period where the club earned all 17 of its NBA titles. A territorial draft choice out of nearby Holy Cross, Heinsohn won Rookie of the Year honors in 1957, the 6'7" forward was an integral part of eight championship teams in a nine-year playing career. After three seasons in the radio booth Heinsohn and his plaid jacket become a fixture throughout the 1970s as Celtics head coach. Heinsohn won 427 regular season games, his tenure punctuated by memorable and victorious championship battles with the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.


As the Larry Bird era began in 1981, Heinsohn began a tenure as television color commentator that lasted nearly four decades. In addition to local broadcasts he paired with Dick Stockton on CBS television as Bird's Celtics were pitted against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. His emotional and biased rants became legendary and well into the current era of digital and social media. Heinsohn was also part of the group of ex-athletes and celebrities that participated in the long-running Miller Lite ad campaign of the era - he teamed with Bob Uecker in a 1986 spot. Perennial All-Star, bench leader, iconic broadcaster - Heinsohn did it all.

 

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