The Boston Celtics debuted a special memorial patch on their green Icon jerseys for their 2020-2021 season opener last night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
A black band which read “TOMMY” in white block lettering, the tribute was done so in honour of Tommy Heinsohn, a former Celtics player, coach, and broadcaster who died last month at the age of 86. Heinsohn had been associated with the Celtics since he was drafted by the team in 1956 spending all nine seasons as a player with Boston. He joined the team as their head coach in 1969 winning two championships over the course of his nine seasons on the sidelines. Heinsohn was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame both for his success as a player and as a head coach.
“This is a devastating loss,” the Celtics ownership group said at the time of his death. “Tommy was the ultimate Celtic. For the past 18 years, our ownership group has relied hugely on Tommy’s advice and insights and have reveled in his hundreds of stories about Red Auerbach, Bill Russell and how the Celtics became a dynasty. He will be remembered forever.”
The Celtics also lowered eight of their seventeen NBA championship banners for the game in Heinsohn’s memory, the team provided an explanation of why they chose the eight that they did.
We’re not yet sure if the Celtics will wear the patch for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, for now, it appears it may have been a special one-game only tribute for opening night.