Tommy Heinsohn: The Ultimate Celtics Fan
Every sports franchise has their own broadcasting team. Some do television and some do radio, but all of them have a strong passion for what they do every time their team plays a game. Here in Boston, we have a great collection of broadcasters which includes Jerry Remy, Gil Santos and Jack Edwards but any true Boston sports fan knows the one commentator who is far and above better than all the rest: Tommy Heinsohn.
It may not be soon, but it is clear that Tommy’s career in broadcasting is on the decline because of his health complications which also keep him from traveling with the team on the road, but there is no doubt that Tommy is the Boston Celtics’ biggest fan. He and Mike Gorman have been calling Celtics games for over 30 years, which makes them one of the longest running broadcasting duos in sports history. Throughout those 30 magical years, Tommy has brought us many classic moments and thanks to the world wide web those moments will forever be remembered by Boston sports fans.
There are many sports fans out there who don’t like Tommy Heinsohn and to that I say “shame on you”. Tommy Heinsohn is the type of commentator that every team should want calling their games. Not only is he a great basketball mind and a huge fan of the game in general, he is a huge fan of the team he calls the games for. Heinsohn, for those who don’t know, played for the Boston Celtics for years seasons from 1956-65 and during that span won eight NBA championships. He was also a six time all star and he won Rookie of the Year in 1956. Once his playing career ended, he chose to stay involved in the game and become head coach of the Celtics. He held that role for another nine years and in that time span he won two more titles and won Coach of the Year in 1973. His 10 rings rank him among the most successful players or coaches in NBA history.
Tommy is what many people consider to be a “homer” and I see nothing wrong with that statement. As I mentioned before, Heinsohn is the color commentator that every team should want in their organization. Why wouldn’t you want someone who loves what they do and the team that they work for? Tommy’s relationship with the Celtics is like no other. It may just be impossible, but I challenge you to find someone who cares more about their team than Tommy Heinsohn.
Over the past 30 years we have gotten many amazing soundbites from Tommy Heinsohn including the “I LOVE WALTER” line and the “I HATE BRAD MILLER” bit. Do you remember this one? Or this one? Or that one? What about this one? Those are just a handful of the numerous rants and exclamations that Tommy Heinsohn has shared with us during his time behind the microphone at the Garden. Can you imagine what he would have said if he called handball with Gorman during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London?
I think it is fair to say that Tommy Heinsohn is the ultimate Boston Celtics fan. We all love the Celtics and during games we may react the same way Tommy does when Kevin Garnett gets called for an outrageous offensive foul, but he has had green running in his blood since 1956 and there is no doubt in my mind that it will never change.
So lets give a “Tommy Point” to the legend himself, because nobody deserves one more than Tommy Heinsohn.
If you have a great Tommy Heinsohn moment to share that I didn’t mention, share it in the comments section below.