Tommy HeinsohnTime for a Tommy Point?

For over a quarter of a century, Tom Heinsohn has been next to Mike Gorman on Celtics broadcasts. He has picked up the mantle from Johnny Most as the unabashed homer in the broadcast booth, screaming at the officials and making villains of the opponents. In the 1980’s Heinsohn was alongside Dick Stockton on the CBS national telecasts, and try as he could, he never quite managed to avoid looking at the games through the green tinted lenses.

For an older generation, Heinsohn is remembered for his Hall of Fame playing career, first at Holy Cross, and then with the Celtics. He retired as a player at the age of 30, and then at the age of 35 became the Celtics coach, leading them out of the Bill Russell era and back to championship glory in 1974 and 1976.

In between his playing and coaching career, he got started in the broadcast booth, doing the play-by-play for WKBG (Now WLVI Channel 56) from 1966 -1969.

Due to advancing age and health, Heinsohn has started to scale back his workload the last two seasons, avoiding the longer road trips, and instead serving as studio analyst for those games.




43 thoughts on “Approval Ratings – Tommy Heinsohn

  1. You have to be a mean one, Mr. Grinch, to disapprove of Heinsohn. He’s been in the trenches, which in itself separates him from all the other sports media hacks in this town who feel that a sheepskin from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting means something. Tom didn’t just coach the Boston Celtics; he delivered Championships. He has an ‘Everyman’ persona, which also separates him from the rest of the sports media cabal. You need a gem like Heinsohn to illustrate the depths of despair that we’ve reached in Boston sports media.


  2. Approve x 100,000,000,000

    One of the best parts of #17 was that Tommy was around to be a part of it. 😀


  3. APPROVE. Anyone who disapproves should be stuck in a an airplane bathroom with Mike Breen for a cross-country flight.


  4. “Approve!”

    People are in such a good mood today that even Stearns probably would have an additional 1% higher rating.


  5. Love him. He’s smart, funny, knows his hoops, speaks his mind, and has enjoyed huge success in every facet of the game. So he’s a bit of a homer, big deal.

    Approve a million times over!


  6. A mensch. Tommy is good people. Years ago during the bad years, I owned season tickets before my wife and I bought our house. Because I bought my tickets with my Amex, I got to go to some Amex season ticket event. We all sat in chairs on the parquet, Jojo and Tommy spoke, as did bloated moron Chris Wallace. Tommy (and his wife) hung around after and could not have been nicer meeting and greeting people, answering questions, etc. A true local legend.


  7. Seems like a great guy, was obviously a great player and coach, and maybe at one time a a great announcer but… as an analyst now IMO doesn’t bring much. The railing about officials and Tommy point shtick are tired. Although I love Gorman (best in business) I prefer the analysts on the national feed.


  8. APPROVE with extreme admiration.

    Sure, he’s a blind homer, but he’s a homer who’s also willing to be critical when the team doesn’t play the way he feels they should (I just love hearing him scream out “RUNNNNN!!!!” on TV broadcasts when the C’s have a potential fast break opportunity but the ball handler pulls it back out and slows things down to run a set play).

    Unlike the Big Show blind homers, to whom the Pats can never do any wrong, at least Tommy is willing to recognize the flaws in the Celtics.

    And he’s been there for the organization through all of the good times and bad.

    I used to work at the FleetCenter during the REALLY bad years in the late 90s, but Tommy was always there long before the game, schmoozing with corporate sponsors because Paul Gaston asked him to, and being as patient and kind as he could be to them, even though you could tell he’d rather be somewhere else.

    Gotta love Tommy!!


  9. APPROVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TOMMY IS THE MAN!! He always knows what he is talking about..the man is a legend..

    APPROVE x infinity!


  10. Hearing that classic “They’re gonna call that a HARD FOUL?!?!” clip on the lead-in to the whines never fails to put a smile on my face.

    Big Approve


  11. To this point, 2:10 PM twelve nimrods have disapproved. I bet they’re all Laker fans.

    After listening to Breen, Jackson, and Van Gundy, how could anyone disapprove of Big T from Holy Cross?


  12. APPROVE!!!!

    As a young fingersandwich back in the early 80’s, I attended a basketball camp at Bentley College and Tommy was the guest speaker on rebounding. He taught us the finer points of stomping on a guys foot while boxing out, reaching back and hooking his waist with the arm furthest from the ref, and slamming your arse into the other guys balls. Good, practical, and useful tips.

    He’s a good commentator too!


  13. He’s a link to the championships in the 1960’s and 1970’s. You can’t say anything bad about Tommy. He’s a winner on and off the court.

    He bleeds Celtic green and will defend the C’s to his deathbed. 17 Thumbs Up for Tommy.


  14. A slight disapprove from a Celtic fan in Chicago … his schtick got tiring in the latter stages of my time in New England (before coming out here for school). And no, Breen/Van Gundy/et al are no better, it’s just a statement on the status of sportscasting in general these days.

    If I gave an approve to Heinsohn, I’d have to almost consider Hawk Harrelson, the White Sox announcer out here who does the same schtick. And I can’t do that, unfortunately.


    1. I hear what you’re saying, but consider this: Tommy is 10,000 times less annoying than Hawk Harrelson, who’s such a ridiculous homer that he actually uses the term “we” when discussing the Chicago White Sox, the team he works for as a broadcaster–not the team he PLAYS for.

      Also, as mildly annoying as Tommy’s exclamations can be, NOTHING can match Harrelson’s…”and you can put it on the boooooooooaaaaaarrrrrdddd….yeeeESSS!”

      That’s the single most annoying sportscaster schtick alive today, with the possible exception of Sterling’s, “theeeeeeeeeeeeeee Yankees win!”

      Tommy>Harrelson….by a LOT


      1. In no way do I disagree with you that Harrelson is infinitely times more annoying than Heinsohn, but still they’re similar styles for different areas. How about this? I’ll just call this a neutral. I can’t get myself to vote approve (and unfortunately can’t rescind my vote).


  15. Forever Green – Tommy Heinsohn

    How could anyone disapprove of him for all he has done for the organization. He’s still entertaining on the telecast. He’s quite often correct about the poor officiating.

    100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 approve!


  16. My lasting image of Tommy is on the sidelines circa 1975, hands on hips, bushy sideburns, scowling in one of those horse-blanket sport coats shooting daggers at some ref.

    I have one of his paintings – a prized possession.

    He may be a homer but he’s our homer. A force of nature who bleeds green. Long may he run.


  17. Very mild approval.

    I like Tommy and he has had a long and illustrious history with the Celtics, but his act on tv has really worn thin with me in recent years. His constant and incessant whining and complaing about the officiating has gotten more and more annoying lately. It seems totally unnecessary and almost scripted…like it’s an act. It seems to me Tommy has gotten a little too big for his britches and thinks he’s part of the whole telecast.
    When he’s not going off on the officiating I really like his analysis. He’s definitely part of the organization and will always be one of the people you think of when you think of the Celtics. I know he is passionate and it’s part of who he is, but personally I’d just like him to be a bit more objective and dynamic instead of his one dimensional ranting all the time.


    1. “too big for his britches and thinks he’s part of the whole telecast” – you must be referring to the obnoxious Jerry Remy, not Tommmy.


  18. Are people voting on Tommy the broadcaster or Tommy the former Celtic player, coach and long time Celtic ambassador?

    I agree that as a player, coach and generally as one of the faces of the organization he’s legendary and he has done more than anyone for the organization…but as a broadcaster he’s overwhelmingly known for his homerism and railing on the refs every night. He doesn’t bring all the much to the table besides occassional game analysis…


  19. Smart as a whip. Tough as nails. Artistically brilliant. How many people can you say that about?

    A Hall of Fame player, but most importantly, a Hall of Fame person.

    Fiercely loyal to his family, his friends and the Celtics.

    As respected a player, coach and broadcaster as the NBA has ever produced.

    In so many ways, a man without peer.

    More than anything else, Championship 17 makes me happy for Tommy Gun Heinsohn…the Keeper of the Flame.

    Approve. Approve. Most highly, approve.


  20. APPROVE!!! Happy 17th Mr Heinsohn
    I hope they give him a ring
    Well said Mitch, he has truly been the keeper of the flame. Through the passing of Len, Reggie, the Pitino error – he has always been there.


  21. He’s a total homer. But I WANT my local announcers to love the team as much as I do. Approve.


  22. Nothing but approve.

    Great player (fast break basketball).

    Great coach (fast break basketball).

    Great guy.

    Not a great announcer, but still a strong approve.


  23. The Chicago Typewriter from Jersey City.

    Smoked pall malls and is a hall of famer player. Approve.

    during the dark years was one of the only reasons to keep watching. He saw hope in every defeat, potential in every washed up or soon to be washed up bottom of the barrel import. Through thick and thin the guy kept going. A poet and a painter. A timeless classic.


  24. From watching almost every Celtics telecast over the past 11 years, I can safely say I’ve learned more about the game of basketball from Mr. Heinsohn than any basketball coach I’ve ever had. Very generous with his time, even posing for a picture with some friends after catching him leaving a home game late one night with his wife. As for his homerism, it’s kinda tough to be objective when you’ve worked for the team for over 50 years, and his issues with officiating are more often than not a result of shoddy officiating. It will be a very sad day when he and Mike Gorman are no longer broadcasting Celtics games, and we’ll be stuck with generic crums the likes of Dickerson and Marshall.

    Strongly approve!


  25. I thought this season brought out the best in Tommy…With a great team in front of him, he actually had high level basketball and big games to talk about and analyze–and he did it wonderfully. I agree that in the last few years and during the Pitino era Tommy’s constant railing about the refs got tiresome, but this year was different. Strong Approval!


  26. My highest approval of anyone (besides Gorman) that you could throw on here. As I said when Gorman was up for discussion, once he retires, watching Celtics games will not be the same.


    1. Does this mean that you’re not looking forward to the Greg Dickerson/Donny Marshall error, er…. era?


  27. OMG Heinsohn's nothing more than a loudmouth fan. So immature the way he yells about every foul call that doesn't go the Cletics' way. Will never give an opposing player his due. I can't imagine how Mike Gorman can stand broadcasting with the guy. I have to mute the sound when Tommy gets going, he's totally obnoxious. I think Celtics fans should have a higher class announcer.


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