Today the NBA Hall of Fame inducts the 2015 class, which includes two former Celtics.
Tommy Heinsohn is already in as a player but will now be recognized for his coaching career as well.
On Friday, Heinsohn will become only the fourth player in league history to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach when he's inducted as part of the Class of 2015 for his time on Boston's bench. He'll join a group of dual inductees that includes only Bill Sharman, John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens.
Heinsohn's Boston clubs won two championships and could easily have won three or four with luck. His intensity and innovative coaching propelled Boston to five straight Eastern finals from 1972-76 despite a short bench, as he rebuilt the Celtic dynasty. His teams posted fine records of 427-263 in the regular season, and 47-33 in the playoffs. A Hall of Famer as a player and coach, insightful national and local TV announcer for over 40 years and accomplished painter, nearly 60 years with the Boston Celtics where he was been a major part of hanging up 10 banners - as well as several others in the booth, speak to his well-rounded and high-achieving life.
Also Jo Jo White will finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.
He retired in 1981 at age 34, which means he was eligible for induction in 1986, which means he waited nearly 30 years for this. Technically. "I didn’t play for this," White told Sporting News. "It just happened to be what came out after I was done. I was playing for the fun of it, because I absolutely adored it.
JoJo never finished higher than 11th in any MVP voting, but was one of the best and most consistent players in the NBA for nearly a decade. Inch for inch and pound for pound, few if any were better. He was extremely consistent at a high level (without compiling eye-popping numbers), which also may have worked against him, since that type of sustained excellence gets taken for granted after a while, especially when one rarely misses a game. In his prime from 1970-77, White averaged between 18.1 and 23.1 points a game every year. He also averaged roughly 5.5 assists and over four rebounds a game over that time span, with highs of 6.1 apg and 5.6 boards per outing.
The 68-year-old White, five years removed from life-threatening surgery to remove a brain tumor, stole the show at the annual enshrinement news conference with a heartfelt speech in which he professed his passion for the game of basketball and displayed sincere gratitude for his call to the Hall, regardless of how belated it may seem.
Congrats to two of the greats and true Celtics.