By The Numbers: Tommy Heinsohn's iconic career as Celtics player, coach, broadcaster

Darren Hartwell
·3 min read

The incredible numbers behind Tommy Heinsohn's Celtics career originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have been around for 74 years -- and Tommy Heinsohn was there for 64 of them.

The iconic Celtics player/coach/broadcaster died Monday at age 86, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy in Boston. Heinsohn's time with the Celtics spanned eight decades, as C's fans of all ages will remember him as a household name.

While Heinsohn's impact on the Celtics is too vast to quantify, numbers can help us contextualize his many accomplishments on Causeway Street.

First, here's a timeline of Heinsohn's three-phase career with the Celtics:

Player: 1956 to 1965

Coach: 1969 to 1978

Broadcaster: 1981 to 2020

Finally, here are the notable numbers that help tell the story of "Mr. Celtic:"

0

The jersey number of Walter McCarty, the Celtics forward who became an all-time Heinsohn favorite ("I love Waltah!!") during his Boston tenure.

1

From 1949 to 1965, the NBA allowed teams to use a "territorial pick" by forfeiting their first-round NBA Draft pick to select any player within a 50-mile radius of their home arena.

The Celtics only used their territorial pick once: to draft Heinsohn out of Holy Cross (Worcester, Mass.) in 1956. Smart move.

2

The total number of years since 1956 in which Heinsohn wasn't playing, coaching or calling games for the Celtics (1979 to 1981). In the four years between his playing and coaching careers (1966 to 1969), Heinsohn did play-by-play for WKBG's Celtics broadcasts at team president Red Auerbach's behest.

Tommy Heinsohn: Hall of Fame Player for the Celtics

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3rd

Heinsohn won eight NBA titles during his nine seasons as a Celtics player, tying him with teammates John Havlicek, K.C. Jones and Satch Sanders for the third-most championships won by an NBA player. (Bill Russell is first with 11; Sam Jones is second with 10.)

4

Heinsohn is one of just four members of the Basketball Hall of Fame who have been inducted as both a player and a coach, joining John Wooden, Bill Sharman and Lenny Wilkens.

6th

Heinsohn averaged 18.6 points over 654 games for the Celtics, good for 6th all-time among players who appeared in at least 200 games for Boston.

15

Heinsohn's No. 15 Celtics jersey was retired on Oct. 15, 1966. He was just the fourth Celtic at the time to have his number retired, behind Bob Cousy, Ed Macauley and Walter Brown.

17

Heinsohn was around the Celtics for all 17 of their championships as a player (eight), head coach (two) and broadcaster (seven).

"Now that's a Tommy Point!"

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193

Paul Pierce earned 193 "Tommy Awards" during his Celtics career, by far the most of any player since Heinsohn began dishing out the honor in 2003 to players who demonstrated exceptional hustle in a game.

427

The number of regular season games Heinsohn won as Celtics head coach, trailing only Red Auerbach for the most in franchise history. His .619 winning percentage is the fifth-best in Celtics coaching history.