Tommy Heinsohn, Ed Macauley, Marvin Kratter pass; Pruitt, Lucas debut

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On this day in Boston Celtics history, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Celtics player and coach Tommy Heinsohn passed away after a long illness. Heinsohn, who was part of every one of Boston’s NBA-record 17 titles in one form or another, had been broadcasting for much of the time after leaving the team as a coach in the late 1970s and had been calling games with partner Mike Gorman right up until a few months before his passing.

As a player, Heinsohn won 8 banners with the team in his career stretching from 1956 to 1965, 6 All-Star bids, and 4 All-NBA team honors among many others. As a coach, the Holy Cross product would win two more titles in 1974 and 1976, and take home Coach of the Year honors in 1973.

One of only five people ever inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach, Tommy may yet make it in as a broadcaster as well, a feat yet unmatched in league history. Rest in Peace, Tommy — you are missed.


(AP Photo/J. Walter Green)

It is also the date that Celtics legend Ed Macauley left us nine years earlier in 2011.

Macauley came the Celtics after being selected by Boston in the (now defunct) St. Louis Bombers dispersal draft in 1950, the team that had selected him with the fifth overall pick of the Basketball Association of America (BAA – a precursor league of the NBA) draft out of St. Louis University.

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(NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

“Easy Ed” Macauley would go on to have a Hall of Fame career in the league, winning a title with the (then) St. Louis (now, Atlanta) Hawks in 1958.


New York Knickerbockers? Nat Clifton (8) outmaneuvers Boston Celtics’ Ed Macauley (left) for possession of the ball on a rebound in the first quarter of pro basketball game at 69th regiment Armory in New York City Jan 31, 1953. Other identifiable players are Boston’s Bob Harris (center, hand up) and Knicks’ Ken Rollins (right foreground). (AP Photo/RHS)

It was a season after being traded there by the Celtics with Cliff Hagan in the deal that would secure the draft pick used to take Boston icon Bill Russell.

An oddly sad day for Celtics history, it is also the date the team lost former owner Marvin Kratter in 1999.

A real estate developer who dabbled in the world of sports ownership as the principal owner of the Celtics from 1956 to 1968, Kratter would eventually sell the team to P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company for a short period of time.


(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

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On this day in 2007, Boston Celtics point and shooting guard Gabe Pruitt made his debut for the team.

A product of the University of Southern California Trojans, the Los Angeles native would be taken by the Celtics with the 32nd overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft.


(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Having landed with a contending team, there was little chance for Pruitt to see the floor in his inaugural season with Boston, but he got the nod for the first time in a 106-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

For having played just under three and a half minutes, it was a solid debut with Pruitt putting up 4 points and an assist with no fouls or turnovers.


(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

That same date in 1948 saw Celtics wing Al Lucas debut for Boston, one of just 2 games the Fordham product would play for the team.

It came in a 77-55 blowout of the (then) Minneapolis (now, Los Angeles) Lakers at the old Boston Garden, and saw Lucas go scoreless, perhaps explaining his exceedingly brief tenure with the team.


(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

It is also the date of an 88-76 win by the Celtics over the Detroit Pistons, which saw a massive game from Tony Allen off the bench win the day for Boston.

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The future Grindfather put up 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block, while big man Kevin Garnett added 17 points and 8 boards and point guard Rajon Rondo 13 points and 5 assists.


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“Our bench has been phenomenal,” coach Doc Rivers said at the time (via the AP).

“We’ve started out slow in three or four games, but the energy of the bench has been tremendous. There isn’t one guy that carries them.”

The Celtics also beat the Miami Heat on this date in an instant-classic squeaker made possible by a clutch last-second 3 by forward Jeff Green.


Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

“I have confidence in every shot I have,” Green said. “When it left, I had a good feeling it would go in. It went in.”

It was among Green’s best games as a Celtic, logging 24 points, 5 boards, and a block to go with that game-winner, with help from guard Avery Bradley (17 points), guard Jordan Crawford (15 points, 4 assists), and Jared Sullinger, who had 12 points and 8 rebounds off the bench.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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