BOSTON (AP) — Tommy Heinsohn, who as a Boston Celtics player, coach and broadcaster was with the team for all 17 of its NBA championships, has died. He was 86.
The team confirmed Heinsohn’s death on Tuesday. No further details were immediately available.
A Holy Cross product who was a territorial draft pick by the Celtics in 1956, Heinsohn beat out teammate Bill Russell for the NBA’s rookie of the year award and combined with his fellow future Hall of Famer to win eight championships in nine years.
After retiring, Heinsohn broadcast the team’s games for three years before moving to the bench in 1969, succeeding Russell. Under Heinsohn, the Celtics won two more titles 1974 and ’76 and he was inducted into the Hall for a second time for his coaching.
Shortly after retiring as a coach in 1979, he rejoined the team’s broadcasts, where his unapologetic homerism has endeared him to Celtics fans ever since.