Yesterday we paid tribute to Johnny Most, a man who bled green and loved the Celtics with everything in him. Today, we want to pay tribute to the man who picked up the mantle from Johnny. Tommy Heinsohn is a man who loves the Celtics and has given most of his life to them in one facet or another: player, coach and analyst. I can only say "I LOVE TOMMY!" (Can I get a Tommy Point?)
Since 1981, Tommy Heinsohn has been the color analyst on the Celtics' television broadcasts. Like Johnny Most, Heinsohn bleeds green and sees everything through green colored glasses. He is part of a team with Mike Gorman that has been broadcasting Celtics games for 25 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.
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.
Every game, you will hear Tommy mention the Redhead in Needham. This is Tommy's wife that he always acknowledges in every broadcast. He is a very loyal man, and not just to the Celtics!
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 Green have been robbed. Even if the replay shows differently.
The most common quote heard during games is "Give him a Tommy Point!" Tommy Points have even earned an entry in theUrban Dictionary:
An award given to an NBA player, usually a member of the Celtics, by Celtics color commentator Tommy Heinsohn (NBA Rookie of the Year 1956-57 for the Boston Celtics, NBA Hall of Fame Inductee 1986) for a great play that goes up and beyond the call of duty expected of the player. E.g. A steal, a blocked shot or great defensive play, etc.
Paul Pierce cuts through a few tough defenders to score 2 "That's a Tommy Point!" Ricky Davis goes baseline to make a shot "Tommy Point for Ricky!" Delonte West makes a hustle play that ends up saving the game "GIVE 'IM TEN THOUSAND TOMMY POINTS!!!"
Although I have never heard Tommy give out ten thousand Tommy Points, he does give out several during each game. There is even a site, Tommy Points.com that tracks the Tommy Points and the Tommy Awards given out in each game. The Tommy Award is given to the player who went above and beyond in hustle and effort in the games.
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 Most before him, he sees little wrong in this team and is enthusiastic about all that he sees from them on the floor. If you check out the other teams' message boards, there is usually at least one thread about how Tommy is one of the biggest homers going. I know when I get the other teams' feeds on League Pass, I miss Tommy. I miss his enthusiasm and his view of the game through green colored glasses. Since I see the team through green colored glasses as well, Tommy's broadcasts are just what I love to hear.