Former Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas reacted to news of Celtics legend Tommy Heinsohn dying at the age of 86 on Tuesday.
Thomas noted it was Heinsohn who gave him the nickname “The Little Guy,” also applauding Heinsohn for his many contributions to Celtics Nation:
Heinsohn’s entire basketball career has been with the Celtics.
Boston drafted Heinsohn in 1956, and he would go on to make six All-Star teams and four All-NBA teams while winning eight championships as a member of the Celtics.
But Heinsohn had plenty more to add to his basketball resume. He coached the Celtics for nine years between 1969 and 1978, winning a pair of titles in 1974 and 1976.
Heinsohn was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1986 and also as a coach in 2015. He is one of just two people — the other being Lenny Wilkens — in NBA history to earn this distinction.
However, Heinsohn also endeared himself to an entirely new segment of Celtics fans as part of the team’s broadcast booth for over 30 years. Heinsohn was on the call for the team’s last championship season in 2007-08, and he also became a staple for his nicknames.
Thomas became one of the most beloved athletes in Boston during a tremendous three-year run with the Celtics. Fans will always remember IT as “The Little Guy” because of Heinsohn, who will be dearly missed by the NBA community.
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