Young fans and fans of other teams catching Tommy Heinsohn on League Pass may know him as the guy that yells at the refs for every call against the Celtics. He's a homer through and through and that's part of the fun. But before he was teamed up with legendary broadcaster Mike Gorman, Tommy was a legend in his own right. A champion as a player and a coach, he's a Celtic in all the best ways.
So when he wanted to have a sit down conversation with Rajon Rondo, the point guard was all ears. Rondo was asked what Tommy had to say and here was his response.
"Keep chugging away at it," Rondo said. "We talked for a while. He shared his thoughts; I shared my thoughts as well. Tommy’s a guy I’ve been talking to since Day 1, he’s been a big fan of mine and I believe in what he’s done here in the past. He’s coached, he’s played, he’s done it all.
So when you find a guy like Tommy has advice or wants to share something I always try to listen." Of Heinsohn's advice, Rondo said, "Just stay positive. Continue to push the pace -- in the fourth quarter we tend to walk the ball up the court. Myself, I was just sharing my thoughts about how it’s hard to push the pace when the ball’s going through the net every time. It’s just difficult. Like I said, it starts on the defensive end of the floor."
"He's the biggest supporter here," Rondo said of Heinsohn. "He's here every night, at every home game. He's rooting for us. He wants the best for our team. And he had some good advice for me. I'm going to take it and share that with my guys and figure some things out."
All the Celtics are frustrated after losing 7 of their last 8 games (and the Sixers win hardly even counts). But Tommy's point is valid. What can you do except to keep plugging away. The schedule in December is a little easier and hopefully some of the breaks that aren't going our way now will start to fall in our favor. Some of those early leads will be a little easier to maintain when we aren't playing the Bulls and Spurs and Grizzlies.
But nobody said this season was going to be easy. In fact, nobody outside their locker room said that this team would be contending for the playoffs (which nonetheless is still the goal). At some point the young players will either step up their game or a trade will happen or time will run out on the season. But you still have to play the schedule in front of you and you have to play it with the guys on your roster.
Losing stinks, but that's true of any sport in any town. This team has to use this adversity to fuel their fire to get better and learn from each of these losses. And a good way to learn is to listen to those who have been through the fire themselves and come away as champions. Thankfully there's no shortage of those kinds of guys in Boston.