Eulogy for Tommy Heinsohn

Soul of a Team

Tommy Heinsohn is gone. For the past few years, he had been less likely to broadcast games, giving up road trips entirely. But he still went to the studio into his eighties to provide insights no one else could know.

He has gone off now with Red and the Leprechaun to a better place.

And what he had to give may be matchless: he knew them all in basketball. He played with them all, coached them all, advised them all. He was one of the original Celtics—and his fiery attitude made him like someone from Mount Olympus on a holiday among mortals. From the 1950s to the 21stcentury, he made an impact on the Boston Celtics.

We do recall the crew-cut blond who had a passion for play that struck us many decades ago. We watched him every chance.. How thrilling it was that he never went away from Boston. He stayed as coach, holding such old-fashioned loyalty. And when the team moved away from his bombast and ref-bashing, he would not take another coaching job anywhere else. He was a Celtic.

He gave counsel to all—from Rondo to Couz. When irked with Bob Cousy, he called him “Robert.” When Dave Cowens in retirement and in an interview complained he never got a Tommy point, Heinsohn rolled his eyes, “Okay, okay, you have a Tommy Point.”

He was immutable and beyond the adjectives of media where they change voices like some people change T-shirt slogans. Tommy Heinsohn was indelible.

It’s not to forget that he was a cultured man who had a skill for painting, perhaps as a form of therapy or relaxation. But like basketball, he mastered whatever he put his talents to doing. How we would like to have one of those prized watercolors.

How we will miss his insights and his colorful expression. He knew what to say and how to say it. And, now that is gone from us. Oh, let’s not be selfish: he shared all those gifts with us for a long time. We should not be greedy. He deserves his time in immortality, high above the parquet for real.

Adieu, Mr. Celtic.

Boston Celtics Unveil Third Big Three

DATELINE:  Here We Go Again, Hopefully

whats not to like?

Nouveau Celtics: Hayward and Irving, Alphabetically

After a long hiatus, we returned to watching The Boston Celtics again.

They do look rather exciting this season, which may take the sting off the stink of the Patriots.

On top of that, the Celtics don’t take a knee during the national anthem. They may be more interested in making the Celtics great again, not making Trump look good.

There is a new big three in town.  Kyrie Irving surprises us by being find less sour than we remembered him on the Cleveland team, and Gordon Hayward is far more muscular than we remembered him on the Utah team. Combine them with our new old favorite Al Horford, and we feel like Bird, McHale, and Parrish, have just walked through that door. Well, Bird has returned: oh, wait, it’s Jabari Bird, not Larry.

Or perhaps we see a new version of Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen, if only they provide us with such soap opera drama.

Indeed, 2/3 of the Celtics roster is totally new. We couldn’t recognize anyone. Trader Danny Ainge has brought back only four young players, but even they look like Celtics of the future. We refer to Jaylen Brown, the new number seven, and Jayson Tatum, the new big zero. Red Sox star Mookie Betts showed up to jump-start the inter-sports support.

These youngsters seem to be taking the places of memories we have of Rajon Rondeau and Avery Bradley.

The best came from announcer and Hall of Famer, always amusing, 83-year-old Tommy Heinsohn. He said he had seen the new center, bullish Aron Baynes in the shower, and he represented the big continent of Australia in sheer size.

Heavens, can things be looking up from Down Under?