NBC Sports Boston, Celtics to honor Tommy Heinsohn with “Tommy Heinsohn Day”


NEEDHAM, MA – (May 7, 2021) – NBC Sports Boston and the Boston Celtics will honor the life and memory of the late, legendary Tommy Heinsohn on Sunday, May 9 at 10:30 AM EST with the inaugural Tommy Heinsohn Day.

Heinsohn was drafted by the Celtics prior to the 1956-57 season, and he earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1957 en route to helping that team win the first NBA Championship in franchise history. Heinsohn was named to six All-Star teams and won eight titles in his playing career, and he was the team’s leading scorer for four of those runs. Red Auerbach named Tommy the team’s Head Coach in 1969, and he directed a new era of Celtics dominance, leading the 1974 and 1976 squads to World Championships, won five Atlantic Division crowns. He spent several decades as a beloved broadcaster. Tommy passed in November of 2020 at the age of 86. He will forever remain a basketball icon throughout the NBA, and a singular presence in Boston Celtics history.

Tommy Heinsohn Day will mark Tommy’s outstanding legacy as a Boston Celtics player, coach, and broadcaster. The NBCUniversal Boston owned sports network, NBC Sports Boston along with the Boston Celtics will showcase Tommy Tributes on air, online, on social and digital, as well as visuals and displays throughout the TD Garden and in-arena during the Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat game on Sunday, May 9 at 1:00 PM EST.

NBC Sports Boston Tommy Heinsohn Day tributes begins at 10:30 AM EST with 90 minutes of programming including:

  • 10:30 AM: Tommy Forever Green
  • 11:00 AM: 30 Years of Mike and Tommy
  • 11:30 AM: Tommy Heinsohn: An NBA Masterpiece 

Next, at 12:00 PM EST Celtics Pregame Live will dive into Tommy’s impact on the Celtics, the NBA, and the game of basketball, with insight from long-time broadcast partner Mike Gorman as well as a special guest appearance from Celtics team owner Wyc Grousbeck. Talent will remember Tommy through moments and stories and will honor him by wearing #15 pins on-air.

Tommy’s immeasurable legacy will be celebrated inside TD Garden throughout the day. Celtics players will be wearing “Tommy” shooting shirts, while coaches and staff members will be donning “Tommy” pins.  The “Tommy” special edition shirt will be available on Celtics.com/Shop with a portion of proceeds going to Willow Hill School and Catholic Memorial.

Special “Tommy” signage will be featured throughout the arena, including at the NBC Sports Boston sideline broadcast position, and the in-arena video board. A tribute video will be played during the game, featuring a rich collection of milestones and taglines from Tommy’s legendary career. Several members of the Heinsohn family will also be in attendance to commemorate the occasion.  

The Boston Celtics and NBC Sports Boston will also introduce the inaugural, season-end “Tommy Award” presented by Dunkin’, which will be awarded annually on “Tommy Heinsohn Day” to the Celtics player who best embodies attributes of hustle, effort, and pride throughout the season. The award presentation will be showcased in-arena as well as on broadcast and digital platforms. 

About Tommy Heinsohn

Tommy Heinsohn is the only person to be an active participant in each of the Celtics’ 17 World Championships, an extraordinary and singular legacy.  His career with the Celtics had an auspicious start, as he earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1957. Even more notably, he was the best player on the floor in the decisive Game 7 of that season’s NBA Finals against the St. Louis Hawks, leading the team with 39 points and 23 rebounds as the Celtics delivered their first championship banner. Dominant performances and championships were no mere opening act; they would come to define his NBA playing career (1956-65), in which he was named to six All-Star teams and won eight NBA Championships, the team’s leading scorer for four of those title runs. Red Auerbach named Tommy the team’s Head Coach in 1969. Like his playing career, Heinsohn's coaching tenure was punctuated by prosperity, as he directed the 1974 and 1976 squads to World Championships, won five Atlantic Division crowns, and was picked the league's Coach of the Year in 1973 during which he won a team record 68 games.

Tommy was honored on multiple occasions as a player, a coach, and a broadcaster. Among those honors, his number 15 was retired by the Celtics in 1965, and he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1986, and then as a coach in 2015. He is one of just four people to be inducted as both a Player and Coach, joining former teammate Bill Sharman, John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens. 

Like his time as a player and coach, Tommy also became a legend as a broadcaster over the past 39 years. He brought tremendous passion and excitement to his commentary and analysis, and helped inform and entertain generations of Celtics fans. For all of his accomplishments as a player, coach, and broadcaster, it is Tommy’s rich personality that defined the man. A loving father, grandfather, and husband. A talented painter and a lively golf partner. Unofficial mentor to decades of Celtics coaches and players. A frequent constructive critic of referees. Originator of the most “Celtic stat” of them all, The Tommy Point. And a boundless love for all things Boston Celtics, a passion which he shared with fans over 64 years.


NBC Sports Boston reaches more than 4 million households in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Programming includes the Boston Celtics, New England Revolution, Arbella Early Edition, Boston Sports Tonight, Celtics Post Up, Monday Night Patriots, Quick Slants, Football Day in New England including pre and post-game programs surrounding all Patriots games, CAA football, basketball and more. NBCSportsBoston.com and all of the network’s social media channels (@NBCSBoston) provide continuous news, video and in-depth, up-to-the-minute coverage of New England sports. Visit NBCSportsBoston.com for more information. Check local listings for the specific channel location for your area. 

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