Skip to main content

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

 

No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs.


While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review.


Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Lenny Wilkens). As a player, Heinsohn was a part of the Celtics Golden Age, winning 8 championships, a Rookie of the Year, 6 All-Star invites, 4 All-NBA honors, and a jersey retirement at the Garden. Because he played with such incredible talents like Bill Russell and Bob Cousy, Tommy often gets overlooked as a player, but his contributions to those early teams were vital in their dominance.


As a coach, Tommy may have had an even greater influence. He won 2 championships, a Coach of the Year award, and posted a 0.619 winning percentage for his career. It can be argued that Tommy's run and gun style, where he used MVP Dave Cowens as a playmaker and jump shooter, was one of the earliest evolutions of modern "small ball",  during a time where giants ruled the league and the 3 point shot did not yet exist. Tommy's coaching career took place during the 1970s, which are often referred to as the Dark Ages of the NBA. Since that era is frequently glossed over, his contributions as a coach can be easily forgotten. But, I would argue that Coach Tommy had a massive impact on the evolution of the game (For what it's worth, noted small ball innovator Don Nelson played for Heinsohn in the 70s).


After his playing and coaching career, Tommy became the face of the Celtics broadcast. For multiple generations of fans, myself included, "Mike and Tommy" were the ONLY way to watch a Celtics game. The everlasting coolness of Gorman combined with the eternal green flame of Heinsohn was a symphony cherished by Celtics fans across the globe. In high school basketball gyms across New England, coaches give out "Tommy Points" to the kid with the most floor burns, an homage to the impact that Tommy had from the booth.


Despite the 10 championships and litany of other accomplishments, perhaps Heinsohn's greatest legacy is the NBA Players Association. Heinsohn was one of the original architects of the union, and served as its second president from 1958-1966. Heinsohn had a profound impact on player rights, from the installation of the pension plan to his fight for free agency, and he paved the way for the strong players union we see today. His most famous act as president came during the 1964 NBA All-Star game, where Heinsohn helped organize an impromptu strike before the game, forcing the owners to recognize the players' union.


Tommy Heinsohn has had a massive influence on the NBA. As a player, coach, broadcaster, and union official, Heinsohn's legacy can be felt in all aspects of the game. With his unfortunate passing this past year, we should look for ways to honor his legacy. With that in mind, I'm proposing that the NBA rename its Lifetime Achievement award to the "Tom Heinsohn Lifetime Achievement Award". The NBA says that the Lifetime Achievement Award is for players who exemplified great success both on and off the court. Tommy Heinsohn - from the court, to the coaches box, to the broadcasters booth, to the negotiation table - was a model of success. He certainly achieved plenty during his lifetime.


So, come on everybody, let's keep Tommy's legacy alive. Sign the petition here

Photo Credit

Comments

  1. Tommy Heinsohn was degraded as a player by Red Auerbach for the good of the team - criticized by the media as coach - and rightly labeled as a "Homer" by opponents when he broadcast games. It's time to give Heinsohn his own "Tommy Point". We hope you agree. Please help us by signing the petition.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Elm Street Nightmare

 A true-and-suspenseful horror tale of haunting, homicides and the hunt for triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante - as told by the cops that were there By Lt. Thomas Lane (Ret.) and Off. Steven Bezanson (Ret.) Daniel Laplante - cold, calm, clever, calculating- Photo: YouTube   Elm Street  surfaces on four occasions in the Laplante saga: 1.) He  resided on Elm Street  in Townsend, Massachusetts 2.) He  kidnapped a woman  at gunpoint on  Elm Street, Pepperell , Massachusetts 3.) He was arrested and transported to Massachusetts State Police Barracks on Elm Street in Concord . 3.) He was  tried, convicted   and sentenced for the murders at  Superior Court , corner of  Elm Stree t and Gorham Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. When evil and cleverness reside in the same mind, the stage is often set for true horror. Such was the case with triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante . As a 16-year old , he quickly transitioned from: Minor thefts and breaking into homes To: Taunting and threatening a father and

Using trade exception to acquire Aaron Gordon needs consideration

The Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon was taken fourth-overall in the 2014 NBA draft, two spots before Boston picked Marcus Smart at #6. I felt at the time that Danny Ainge would have taken Gordon with the sixth pick if the 6'8" power forward was still on the board. Well now, with a $28.5 million trade exception in his hands, it may be time to consider adding the super-athletic wing. Here's why: Brad Stevens feels you can't have enough mid-sized wings Brad Stevens does not favor the "little guys" because they often get mis-matched on defense by taller opponents. He also is not fond of the old-school, big centers. In his mind, they just can't be effective on his switching, perimeter defensive strategies. Gordon's salary fits the trade exception Aaron is set to earn $18.1 million this season and $16.4 million in the 2021-22 season. His salary was front-loaded, and that relatively-low $16.1 million figure kicks in when Jayson Tatum's max contract goes