Happy Birthday to Tommy Heinsohn who turns 79 today!! If you are a Celtics fan, you love Tommy for his absolute love of the Celtics that he hides from no one. When I do the Comments from the Other Side columns, almost every one includes fans from the other team commenting about how much they hate listening to Tommy because he broadcasts in the only way he knows: through green colored glasses and 100% pro Celtic. Here is my tribute to Tommy on his 79th birthday.
Since 1981, Tommy Heinsohn has been the color analyst on the Celtics' television broadcasts. Tommy bleeds green and sees everything through green colored glasses. He is part of the team with Mike Gorman that has been broadcasting Celtics games for 32 years and they make up TV's longest running telecast duo.
Tom Heinsohn is a true representative of Boston Celtics' pride. Known for his hard-nosed style of play, yet possessing a superb shooting touch and good body control, Tom Heinsohn was a vital cog in the Boston Celtics' dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s. Chosen as NBA Rookie of the Year in 1957, he helped the Celtics win eight NBA titles during his nine-year tenure, was named to the All-NBA Second Team for four years, and was an All-Star for six. His number 15 was retired by the Celtics in 1966. In the past, I have posted several articles that shared some of Tommy's book: Heinsohn, Don't You Ever Smile? If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it to you. You get to see Tommy the person, as well as Tommy the Celtic.
But that isn't the end of Tommy's time with the Celtics. In 1969, three years after Red Auerbach retired, Tom Heinsohn was offered the post of head coach of the Boston Celtics. In what he called "guerrilla warfare," his teams kept the pressure on opponents at all times, controlling the tempo of the game and playing with great intensity.
. During Heinsohn's eight full seasons as coach, Boston won five Eastern Division titles in a row, took two NBA Championships and compiled a 416-240 record. Heinsohn stepped down as head coach at the start of the 1977-78 season.
But Tommy still wasn't done with the Celtics. In 1981, the now-retired 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. Tommy was enshrined in the Hall of Fame on May 6, 1986.
Before Walter McCarty was traded, at least once or twice a game, you would hear Tommy shout out "I love Waltah!!!" And since McCarty's departure, he has been heard shouting "I love Perk!" or "I love Delonte!" And you truly believe that he does love every player on this team. I'm sure he's delighted that Walter will be back with the team this season as an assistant coach.
When the referees make a call against the Celtics, you will hear Tommy yell, "Go home to your mother!!" And if they do make a questionable call against the Celtics, Tommy will always feel that his beloved Celtics have been robbed. Even if the replay shows differently.
Tommy loves the Celtics. You can hear it in every broadcast and every word he speaks about the team. I am sure the man lives on green koolaid. Like Johnny Most before him, he sees little wrong in this team and is enthusiastic about all that he sees from them on the floor. I know when I get the other teams' feeds on League Pass, I miss Tommy. I miss his enthusiasm for his Celtics.
Today, along with Celtics fans everywhere, we wish Tommy Heinsohn a very happy birthday and a Tommy Point or two, and I also wish him many, many more to come. We...love... Tommy!!!!!
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