Boston Celtics great Tommy Heinsohn, who won 10 titles as both a Hall of Fame player and head coach before becoming an ambassador for the Celtics as a color commentator for over 30 seasons, has died at the age of 86.
"[Heinsohn was an] unofficial mentor to decades of Celtics coaches and players. A frequent constructive critic of referees. Originator of the most 'Celtic stat' of them all, The Tommy Point," the Celtics said in a statement. "And a boundless love for all things Boston Celtics, a passion which he shared with fans over 64 years."
Celtics of the past and present, as well as players and teams across the league, paid tribute to the late Boston legend.
We take this time to celebrate Tommy Heinsohn's life and legacy, and to share in the sorrow of his passing with his family, friends, and fans. As long as there are the Boston Celtics, Tommy's spirit will remain alive.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 10, 2020
Full Statement from the Celtics: https://t.co/T5tQbCpfs2 pic.twitter.com/WCcRe3C7aU
We were rookies together and friends for life. In life there are a limited number of true friends, today I lost one.— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) November 10, 2020
RIP Heiny. pic.twitter.com/nKJn0DqgJJ
😢— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) November 10, 2020
RIP Tommy Heinsohn you were joy to listen to and learn from my heart is heavy today— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) November 10, 2020
Rest In Peace, Tommy. You have meant so much to the six decades of Celtics' fans that you shared the game with as a HOFer in every facet... An Incredible person, teammate and mentor. https://t.co/gdQ0CHTQd1— Brad Stevens (@BCCoachStevens) November 10, 2020
Damn RIP Tommy Heinsohn!!! "The Little guy" that's the nickname he gave me. Will miss his voice and everything he brought to the game especially Celtics basketball— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 10, 2020
My love and prayers goes out to the family of Mr. Tommy Heinsohn.— Evan Turner (@thekidet) November 10, 2020
I'm thankful for the impact you left on the game and for all the "tommy points!"
Gone but never forgotten
Just heard about the passing of Tommy Heinsohn. Was always an honor winning those Tommy awards. Rest In Peace big fella 🙏🏽🙏🏽 @celtics— Shane Larkin (@ShaneLarkin_3) November 10, 2020
R.I.P. Tom Heinsohn, NBA legend. For me I will always think of him as the color analyst on CBS's NBA coverage during the 80's, but his contributions throughout his career were too many to count.— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) November 10, 2020
Longtime voice of the Celtics and Heinsohn's broadcast partner, Mike Gorman, said "Celtics Nation has lost its finest voice."
Roughly 2800 times I sat down with Tommy to broadcast a game. Every time it was special. HOF player...HOF coach...HOF partner. Celtics Nation has lost its finest voice. Rest In Peace my friend. It has been the privilege of my professional life to be the Mike in Mike & Tommy.— Mike Gorman (@celticsvoice) November 10, 2020
NBA teams -- and the NHL's Boston Bruins, who share the TD Garden with the Celtics -- also showed their support for the franchise on social media.
The Bruins mourn the passing of the legendary Tommy Heinsohn. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends, and the entire Celtics organization. pic.twitter.com/cqNWEUPtIU— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 10, 2020
💙❤️— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 10, 2020
🖤💚— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 10, 2020
❤️💚❤️💚— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 10, 2020
💛💙— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 10, 2020
💚 💚 💚 💚— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 10, 2020
💙🤍💙🤍— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) November 10, 2020
💜💚💜💚— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 10, 2020