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Tom Heinsohn

Tom Heinsohn (1934–2020), Boston Celtics legend

by Kirk Fox

Boston Celtics legend Tom Heinsohn won 10 championships with the franchise as a player and head coach.

  • Details of death: Died at the age of 86, announced today by the Boston Celtics, date of death not given.
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Heinsohn played power forward for the Celtics for all 10 of his NBA seasons. He was part of the Celtics dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s, when the team won eight NBA championships. He was known as a tough grinder on the court and was a six-time NBA All-Star. Heinsohn averaged more than 18 points and almost nine rebounds a game in his Hall of Fame career. In 1969, he became the Celtics’ head coach and led the team to NBA championship wins in 1974 and 1976. In 1981, he became a legendary color commentator for Celtics games, calling games as recently as the 2018-19 season.

His enduring love for the Boston Celtics

“Tommy doesn’t really do color. In his heart, he’s still coaching the Celtics and he always will be. It doesn’t matter who the coach is, and it’s no disrespect to the coach. This always will be Tommy’s team. Tommy will be coaching this team till he takes his final breath. If it was possible to still be playing for this team, he would be.” —Heinsohn’s longtime broadcasting partner Mike Gorman in an interview with the Boston Globe

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Tributes to Tom Heinsohn

Full Obituary: Boston Globe

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