Longtime Celtics player, coach, and broadcaster Tom Heinsohn has died at age 86.
Heinsohn, who is one of just four people to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach, has been a pillar of Boston sports for decades.
Here’s how basketball fans reacted to the news:
The Celtics released a statement and shared a video, among other tributes.
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
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 10, 2020
His broadcast partner, Mike Gorman, called it “the privilege of his professional life” to work alongside him.
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
Bill Russell said he lost a true friend.
We were rookies together and friends for life. In life there are a limited number of true friends, today I lost one.
RIP Heiny. pic.twitter.com/nKJn0DqgJJ
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) November 10, 2020
Head coach Brad Stevens referred to him as “An Incredible person, teammate and mentor.”
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
Jaylen Brown said he was “a joy to listen to and learn from.”
RIP Tommy Heinsohn you were joy to listen to and learn from my heart is heavy today
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) November 10, 2020
Paul Pierce summarized everyone’s thoughts with a simple emoji.
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) November 10, 2020
Isaiah Thomas credited Heinsohn for calling him “The Little guy.”
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
The Red Sox expressed their condolences.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) November 10, 2020
Sean Grande, who calls Celtics games on the radio, described it as an “immeasurable loss.”
There is no tweet.
There is no podcast, no documentary, no mini-series that can come close to encapsulating what Tommy meant to the game through the generations.
As immeasurable a loss for our organization as was the privilege of 19 years of his personal tutelage.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 10, 2020
Commissioner Adam Silver said Celtics games won’t be the same without him.
A statement from commissioner Adam Silver on the passing of Tommy Heinsohn: pic.twitter.com/Ygj45YXHhR
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) November 10, 2020
Chris Forsberg shared a quote from Bob Cousy that encapsulated Heinsohn’s legacy.
92-year-old Bob Cousy on Tommy Heinsohn’s legacy: “I think Tommy symbolizes, more than any other Celtic that has come through this thing since 1950, the Celtics dynasty.”
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) November 10, 2020
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said “his contributions throughout his career were too many to count.”
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
Leon Powe said he misses him already.
Miss you already, your voice will forever be in my head from playing at TD when making a great hustle play, you giving me a (Tommy Point) the talks we use to have about the game of basketball was the best. You will be missed, but never forgotten. 🙏 https://t.co/vSJEodE7cf
— Leon Powe (@Leon_Powe) November 10, 2020
Evan Turner said he’s thankful for all the Tommy Points.
My love and prayers goes out to the family of Mr. Tommy Heinsohn.
I’m thankful for the impact you left on the game and for all the “tommy points!”
Gone but never forgotten
— Evan Turner (@thekidet) November 10, 2020
Former Celtics guard Shane Larkin said it was always “an honor winning the Tommy Award.
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
Assistant General Manager Mike Zarren said, “it just won’t be the same without him.”
Many Celtics fans only knew Tommy Heinsohn from local TV. Or from national TV in the 80s. Or as a hall of fame coach. Or as 1956 rookie of the yr & a hall of fame player. NO ONE ever loved this team more than Tommy did. More later, but it just won’t be the same without him. 😥☘️
— Mike Zarren (@mikezarren) November 10, 2020
Abby Chin said she’s “heartbroken.”
I am heartbroken. https://t.co/GRdhCcztxz
— Abby Chin (@tvabby) November 10, 2020
TD Garden tweeted that Heinsohn is “forever in our hearts,” “and our rafters.”
— TD Garden (@tdgarden) November 10, 2020
Kendrick Perkins called him a legend.
Rest In Paradise Tom Heinsohn! #LEGEND 🙏🏾😢
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 10, 2020
His alma mater, Holy Cross, said “He will be remembered by basketball fans everywhere.”
RIP Tom Heinsohn ’56: a larger-than-life coach, player, and commentator involved in all 17 of the Celtics’ NBA titles. He will be remembered by basketball fans everywhere. For his exceptional play, hustle and heart, we award him all the “Tommy Points.”🏀❤️https://t.co/3Lsqnm6LWM pic.twitter.com/aFURwY0IDX
— Holy Cross (@holy_cross) November 10, 2020
Rob Perez, Zach Harper, and many others shared classic Heinsohn clips.
the best. pic.twitter.com/QTdU3LgoBp
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 10, 2020
Tommy comparing Greg Stiemsma to Bill Russell 😂😂😂 what a legend pic.twitter.com/eJJfh5UKuO
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) November 10, 2020
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