It might be time for the enigmatic Tommy Heinsohn to turn things over to this man.
I know what I’ve got to say is sacrilege, but I’ve never been all that fond of religion so I’ll say it anyways. I’m starting to grow tired of Tommy Heinsohn‘s act.
Now let me first establish that I am a Celtics fan through and through: I’ve been into the Green since I first became a sports fan in the early ’90s (I was previously a Ninja Turtles and Superman fan) and followed them through the lean years, the mini-resurgence under The Truth and Employee #8, and then once again through the leanest of lean years, 2006-2007, the year of The Injury and The Tank. Basically, I grew up on Tommy Points, and have always tried to bring the lessons I’ve learned from Tommy during Celtics games to my personal play and coaching. So don’t worry about me being an outsider criticizing the local patriarch.
Tommy’s enthusiasm and energy at 73-years-old are phenomenal, he knows how to judge talent, coach talent, use his own talents, and has a working encyclopedia of basketball knowledge for a brain from 50 years in the game.
The problem with Tommy is he never stopped being a Celtic. Not that he should entirely considering he works for the organization that covers the team, but he no longer actually works for the team itself. So toning down his act would be a good move as a broadcaster, considering the code of conduct for his current profession includes some form of neutrality. After all, there’s no cheering in the press box.
Mike Gorman, Tommy’s running mate at the point since 1981 is a great example of the ideal commentator: he calls it like it is, but the fans knows where he stands–he wants the Celtics to win.
Donny Marshall, of UConn fame and NBA mediocrity, knows this as well. He has personal friendships with players still in the game, including Celtic Ray Allen, but, in his limited opportunities calling the game, has shown an unbiased stance.
When I say unbiased, I don’t mean uninterested, what I’m really talking about is avoiding spending an inordinate amount of time ragging on the refs. We know the refs are bad, this is the NBA. Tim Donaghy used to officiate in the NBA. He’s a criminal with gambling ties to the mob. The point has been driven into the ground: NBA refs are pretty bad sometimes.
However, this does not mean NBA refs favor WHOMEVER is playing the Celtics. Things really do even out in the long run, no matter how bad they seem (unless you’re in Phoenix, but even in that case, let it go and you’ll feel so much better).
Therein lies Tommy’s problem, he can’t let it go. Over the past few years he has become more and more incapable of letting a bad call go. It’s his tragic flaw. A disproportionate amount of time is spent every broadcast complaining about the officiating, and this segment has grown to sound quite like whining.
If Tommy cannot contain himself during the game, he and Donny should switch positions, allowing the Greenest of all the Green there has ever been time to root like a fan during the games and provide us with great breakdowns of basketball Xs and Os like he does so well after the final buzzer.
It comes down to this: I’m calling on the great Tommy Heinsohn to either tone down his act or hand over the reins to Donny Marshall.