Celtics legend, player, coach, and broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn turns 78 today. I’ve known him for the last nineteen years as the Celtics color commentator on Comcast SportsNet New England. From “I love Walter” to complaining about the refs, Tommy has made it extremely fun to watch Celtics games.
Tommy has always been considered a homer, and there is no doubt he looks through the green glasses every game, but he has also been a guy that I have learned a lot from when it comes to basketball. Throughout the course of a game, he’ll notice things the Celtics aren’t doing correctly like playing tight enough defense on a certain player, the way the team sets up the offense, and even small things like not hustling enough. Clearly his experience as a coach, and being a player under Red Auerbach, still sticks with him today.
Besides Tommy’s rants, he makes games fun because he expresses what every die-hard Celtics fan is yelling at the TV screen every night. When the Celtics are on TNT or ABC, it just isn’t the same. Call me a homer, which I am, but when I watch my team play, I don’t like having the game analyzed by neutral commentators.
Growing up as a kid, when the Celtics would go on a run, which didn’t happen quite often in the late 90′s and early 2000′s, his excitement kept me interested in the game even when we weren’t good. The years I remember the most were in the days of Rick Pitino, maybe its because thats when I began to watch the Celtics religiously, but I’d contribute most of that to Tommy Heinsohn.
Ever since I started watching, Tommy has made every season memorable, and it’s been great to have him as a color commentator during the Big Three era. Happy birthday Tommy Heinsohn, I hope to continue to hear very insightful yet very Celtics biased color commentary for many more seasons!