Boston Celtics

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 30: Former Boston Celtics player and head coach Tommy Heinsohn talks to the news media after attending legendary NBA coach Red Auerbach's viewing at Joseph Gawler's Sons Inc. funeral home October 30, 2006 in Washington, DC. Auerbach, who led the Celtics to 16 NBA championships as either coach, general manager or club president, died Saturday at the age of 89. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Multiple sources associated with the NBA have informed the Boston Globe that Celtics legend Tommy Heinsohn passed away at age 86. Heinsohn established himself as a towering figure both in Boston and across the NBA with a career spanning over 60 years as a player, coach, and broadcaster.

The Celtics originally drafted Heinsohn in 1956, and he won rookie of the year over Bill Russell in his first season. Heinsohn won eight championships in nine seasons with the Celtics alongside Russell, in 1957 and from 1959-65. He was also a six-time All-Star during his playing career, averaging 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as one of the premier forwards of his time.

Heinsohn became the Celtics’ head coach in 1969 and compiled a 427-263 record, leading the team to two more NBA championships over a span of nine seasons. Heinsohn won coach of the year in 1973.

His broadcasting career began between his time as a player and coach, getting his feet wet from 1966-68. In 1981 he joined play-by-play man Mike Gorman as the Celtics’ TV color commentator and the duo called games together for the majority of the ensuing four decades. Heinsohn’s notorious venom toward officials as a coach translated well to his career as Celtics color commentator, when he became famous for never letting the refs off the hook.

Tributes have already begun pouring in from Heinsohn’s contemporaries in Boston broadcasting, as well as former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, whom Heinsohn endearingly called “The Little Guy.”

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