The NBA world suffered a significant loss with the passing of former Boston Celtics legend Tommy Heinsohn. Former and current NBA players went to social media to say something about Heinsohn. Heinsohn had a tremendous career, winning multiple championships as a player and coach.
Bill Russell had the opportunity to play alongside Heinsohn and helped create the Celtics dynasty in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Russell delivered a heartfelt message when he found out his former teammate passed away.
As a player, Tommy Heinsohn had a lot of success with the Celtics
When Heinsohn joined the Celtics in 1956, he immediately made an impact. As a rookie, he played in the 1957 All-Star Game. He averaged 16.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists and was named the Rookie of the Year. During his rookie season, the success continued for Heinsohn as the Celtics won the NBA championship, and Heinsohn won his first title in his first season.
After his rookie season, Heinsohn saw nothing but success with the Celtics. The Celtics dominated the league for many seasons during the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his time with the Celtics, he was selected to six All-Star games, and he was a four-time All-NBA Second Team selection. Heinsohn played a significant role for the Celtics from his rookie season to the time he retired.
He was a part of the Celtics team that won seven consecutive titles from 1959 to 1965. Throughout his career, he scored 12,194 points and averaged 18.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and two assists. Heinsohn was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player, and his No. 15 was retired by the Celtics.
Heinsohn had success as a coach as well
A few years after he retired from playing, Heinsohn became a head coach. It was only right for him to become the head coach of the Celtics. He became the head coach during the 1969-70 season. In his first two seasons as head coach, the Celtics failed to reach the playoffs.
After failing to reach the playoffs in his first two seasons as head coach, Heinsohn led the Celtics to six consecutive playoff appearances. During that time, the Celtics won the NBA title in 1974 and 1976. Heinsohn had a total of 10 NBA championships as a player and coach. He finished his coaching career with a record of 427-263. In 2015, he was elected to the Hall of Fame for the second time as a coach. He is one of four people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player and coach.
Bill Russell delivers heartfelt message to former teammate and friend
Bill Russell had a memorable NBA career. He currently has the most NBA titles by a player with 11, and he won every title with the Celtics. Russell came into the league at the same time as Heinsohn. Heinsohn beat out Russell for the Rookie of the Year award. The two had a lot of success playing together in Boston and helped establish a dynasty there.
On Monday, October 9, 2020, Heinsohn passed away at the age of 86. According to an article from Yahoo! Sports, Russell posted a message on Twitter about the relationship between him and Heinsohn. “We were rookies together and friends for life. In life there are a limited number of true friends, today I lost one. RIP Heiny.” That’s the message that Russell wrote on his Twitter, and he also posted two photos of himself and Heinsohn.
The two played together for nine seasons and won eight championships during that time. Athletes for strong friendships through sports, and that’s what Russell and Heinsohn did. Russell lost someone close to him, and he will always remember the time that he and Heinsohn shared.