Tommy Heinsohn loved Walter McCarty, and the feeling was mutual.
If you watched Celtics broadcasts during the late 1990s and early 2000s, you surely remember hearing, “I love Waltah” — Heinsohn’s signature refrain when praising McCarty, a fan favorite during his seven-plus seasons in Boston. And, following the announcement Tuesday of Heinsohn’s death, McCarty took to Instagram to honor the Celtics legend.
Take a look:
Definitely at a loss for words today. I?m saddened by the passing of my good buddy and friend Tommy, I can?t explain the relationship you and I have had over years but I?m so grateful. You were dear to my heart. Though we played in different eras, our love and respect for one another did not. My favorite Celtic memories include dinners at your house with guys like Cous, Hondo, and Satch. There, I truly learned what being a Celtic was all about. There isn?t a day that passes where I don?t hear the phrase you coined, ?I Love Waltah? from people of all ages that I?ve never met. That wouldn?t be possible without you my friend. You meant and touched so many lives on and off the court, I?m just happy to be on one of those pages. I will miss you my friend. I will miss giving you hugs and seeing that great big smile. I will cherish the special bond that you and I had. May you rest in heaven big guy. Give Helen a Waltah hug for me. I love you T. Waltah #celtics #legend #15 #hof #boston
Well said, Walter.
Heinsohn was 86 years old.