Boston was hit hard Tuesday with news of Tommy Heinsohn’s passing at age 86.
And what a life he lived, getting enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986 after an incredible career as a player, coach and broadcaster.
And those six-plus decades all were spent with the Celtics organization, who adored him for larger-than-life personality in the booth after his time on the court and sideline were behind him, and for being an active member of the franchise for each of their 17 NBA championships.
In addition to having no filter while providing color commentary for games with NBC Sports Boston and trash talking officials, he was beloved for his encyclopedic knowledge of Celtics history. Because he lived it.
And while the entire basketball community paid tribute to Heinsohn after news of his passing, Bill Russell, who had been there with him since Day 1, was no exception.
“We were rookies together and friends for life. In life there are a limited number of true friends, today I lost one,” the fellow Celtics legend tweeted, accompanied by photos of them together.
Condolences to Heinsohn’s family, friends and Celtics Nation.