Doc Rivers: Tommy Heinsohn helped me through dark days with Celtics

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was happy to see an old friend Saturday night at TD Garden.

Doc Rivers: Tommy Heinsohn helped me through dark days with Celtics

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was happy to see an old friend Saturday night at TD Garden.

Doc Rivers: Tommy Heinsohn helped me through dark days with Celtics originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Successful Boston Celtics head coaches are in abundance at TD Garden on Saturday night.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is back in Boston take on his successor, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. Also in the house is C's legend Tommy Heinsohn, who will assume his usual spot alongside Mike Gorman on NBC Sports Boston's broadcast after stepping away to deal with health issues.

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Rivers was happy to see Heinsohn, insisting the Basketball Hall of Famer helped pick him up during some lean years in Boston.

"Tommy is my hero. He really is," Rivers said Saturday night in his pregame press conference. "When times were bad, he was amazing here. So, Tommy is the best."

Heinsohn has seen it all during nearly four decades as a broadcaster. He also won 427 games as a Celtics head coach during the 1970s -- the second-most in team history ahead of Rivers (third with 412) and Stevens (fifth with 256).

Stevens also appears to respect his elders.

"I look up to both of them. And I'm not in their league. I'm fifth by a long shot," Stevens said Saturday. "... Both those guys are tremendous. Doc has been great to me since I've gotten here. We've done some stuff together here in Boston and have always stayed in touch.

"And then obviously, it's great to have Tommy back in the building."

Rivers added he reached out to Stevens earlier this season for advice about a basketball issue, so there's clearly mutual respect between the trio of past and present Celtics coaches at the Garden on Saturday night.

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