Boston Celtics player, coach and commentator Tom Heinsohn died on Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports. Heinsohn was 86.
Heinsohn, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1956, played for the franchise with NBA legends Bob Cousy and Bill Russell. During his time as a player, he won eight championships in nine seasons and was a six-time NBA All-Star. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1986 and then as a coach in 2015.
Heinsohn is one of four people to be inducted as both a player and coach, joining former teammate Bill Sharman, John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens. Heinsohn also won the 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year. One of Heinsohn's best career performances happened in Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1957. Against the St. Louis Hawks, Heinsohn led the team with 39 points and 23 rebounds as the Celtics captured their first championship banner.
In his championship runs, Heinsohn was the leading scorer in four of the team's titles. His No. 15 jersey was retired in 1965 and he finished his NBA career with 12,194 points, averaging nearly 19 per game.
The Celtics' ownership issued the following statement:
"This is a devastating loss. Tommy was the ultimate Celtic. For the past 18 years, our ownership group has relied hugely on Tommy’s advice and insights and have reveled in his hundreds of stories about Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, and how the Celtics became a dynasty. He will be remembered forever."
Heinsohn did color commentary for the Celtics on the team’s TV broadcasts with play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also issued a statement on the death of Heinsohn.
"Tommy Heinsohn’s remarkable contributions to our game bridged generations and personified the Boston Celtics for more than 60 years," the statement said.
"He was synonymous with success, winning eight NBA championships in nine seasons with Boston as a player and two more as its coach, which led to his rare distinction of Hall of Fame status in both capacities. Tommy was equally renowned as an NBA broadcaster who made his mark on both the national and local stage. Celtics games will not be the same without Tommy, and he will be dearly missed by those who share his fervor for basketball. We extend our deepest sympathies to Tommy’s family, his friends and the Celtics organization.”
Two-time NBA All-Star and former Celtic Isaiah Thomas and former center Kendrick Perkins shared their condolences and memories on Twitter for Heinsohn.