Broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn Details How He Almost Didn’t Play For Celtics


Apr 29, 2020

Tommy Heinsohn is a beloved Boston figure in the Celtics organization.

But he came pretty close to never even being part of the team.

The C’s former player, coach and now broadcaster revealed to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg that he almost didn’t even play for Boston.

“When (the Celtics) came to talk to me, I almost went and played for the Peoria Cats because Red Auerbach didn’t seem like he was really too interested in me,” Heinsohn said. “He always put a knock on me some way in the press. There was a Holy Cross grad that was with the Peoria Caterpillars and they offered me a job in labor management to go and play and have a regular business job. I got back and it was in the paper that I went. (Bob) Cousy gets me on the phone and said, ‘They gotta talk to you down in Boston.’ I said, ‘Well, Red doesn’t seem to be interested,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, they’re very interested.'”

Well, it all seemed to work out.

Heinsohn was drafted as a “territorial” pick, ended up being named Rookie of the Year over Bill Russell and won a championship with the C’s all in his first season.

It’d be hard to imagine a Celtics broadcast without the colorful Heinsohn, but we’re glad we don’t have to.

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Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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