Basketball Hoop

Boston Celtics in Mourning: Tom Heinsohn Dies at 86

The Boston Celtics are in mourning as the iconic player, coach and broadcaster, Tom Heinsohn, dies at 86 years old at his home in Newton, Mass. The Hall of Fame forward played with the Boston Celtics on eight NBA championships. He also coached them to two titles, and for more than forty years, became their ardent broadcaster. 

According to Jeff Twiss, the cause of his death was renal failure and added the fact that Heinsohn also had several illnesses like diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  

From 1956 to 1965, Heinsohn had started playing at the old Boston Garden and brought a shooting style to the dynasty engineered by Coach Auerbach. He was also the 1957 rookie of the year in the NBA and was a six-time All-Star. 

Remembering Tom Heinsohn

With ties as far back as the formation of Boston’s basketball dynasty, Heinsohn has always been with the Celtics for most of his career. He originally played college basketball at Holy Cross in Union City, New Jersey, until the Boston Celtics drafted him in 1956. 

Aside from being NBA’s rookie of the year in 1957, he also helped deliver Boston’s first NBA championship in that year. His playing career, which was from 1956 to 1965, consisted of six All-Star selections and eight championship runs.   

In 1969, he became the Boston Celtic’s head coach, and after winning the championships in both 1974 and 1976, he retired in 1978. But, his career in basketball did not stop there. He became a broadcaster and a play-by-play announcer for the Celtics. Heinsohn also became the fourth person who got inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach. 

A Devastating Loss for the Boston Celtics

The Celtics are in deep shock but are doing their best to let Heinsohn’s legacy continue to live on. According to their statement:

“It’s hard to imagine the Boston Celtics without Tommy Heinsohn. There isn’t a generation of Celtics fans for whom Tommy’s presence hasn’t been felt. He is the only person to be an active participant in each of the Celtics’ 17 World Championships, an extraordinary and singular legacy.

“For all of his accomplishments as a player, coach, and broadcaster, it is Tommy’s rich personality that defined the man. A loving father, grandfather, and husband. A talented painter and a lively golf partner. Unofficial mentor to decades of Celtics coaches and players. A frequent constructive critic of referees. Originator of the most “Celtic stat” of them all, The Tommy Point. And a boundless love for all things Boston Celtics, a passion which he shared with fans over 64 years.

We take this time to celebrate his life and legacy, and to share in the sorrow of his passing with his family, friends, and fans. As long as there are the Boston Celtics, Tommy’s spirit will remain alive.”

Despite this devastating loss, the Celtics will continue on, and all its fans will still be there to give them the support that they need. If you are looking for trusted bookie sites, you can check out our partner VOdds bookmakers. Sign up with this sportsbook and get a chance to bet comfortably and conveniently for your favourite NBA team! 

Kobe and Gianna

NBA: Gasol Names Daughter Gianna after the Late Kobe Bryant’s Daughter

One of the most memorable events that happened this year for the NBA was the death of Kobe Bryant. Bryant or famously called the “Black Mamba,” was an icon in basketball and will always be a legend among Lakers fans and even in NBA history. 

On January 26th, he and his 13-year old daughter Gianna Bryant or “Gigi”, also nicknamed as Mambacita, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. They were travelling to Camarillo Airport for a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Like her father, Gigi had a passion for basketball and had dreamed of making it into the WNBA. Kobe also had big plans for his daughter and wanted her to reach those dreams. 

A Touching Tribute by Former NBA Teammate

The sweetest way to honour his friend and his daughter, Pau Gasol, gave his newborn daughter the name “Elisabet Gianna Gasol,” her middle name was taken from Gianna Bryant’s name. 

On his Instagram, Gasol posted, “Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! #girldad.” 

While his wife, Catherine, posted on hers: “Elisabet Gianna Gasol joined our family on September 10th, 2020. She made a quick and easy entrance on a VERY special day, her great-grandmother Elizabeth’s 100th birthday and her mom and dad’s 2nd engagement anniversary. We are already so in love with our sweet Ellie!! #GasolFamilyOf3 #girlmom #girldad #EllieGasol”

What is also touching in these posts is Pau and Catherine’s use of the hashtag #GirlDad. The hashtag trended worldwide as a way for fathers across the globe to pay tribute to Kobe after his death. It was a way to celebrate their relationships with their daughters.

Close Relationship with Kobe

Both Gasol and Kobe had played on the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 to 2014. In 2009 and 2010, they had won two NBA championships. The pair remained close until Kobe’s death. In the Players’ Tribune, a collection of stories that was compiled last August, Kobe’s former teammates and players who faced him recounted their experiences and moments with the remarkable basketball player. 

For Gasol, he wrote, “I don’t believe that Kobe ever took a break. It was championship mode, pure and simple. The six and a half years I played with Kobe were my best basketball years. I learned the most about my game, and a big reason was number 24.” 

Many basketball players and fans have been deeply affected by Kobe’s death, but they know that his memory and legacy lives on. The future of basketball is still promising, and legends and icons will rise. But of course, none will ever replace the Black Mamba.

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NBA Basketball Fan

Passionate NBA Celebrity Fans You Often See at Courtside

Basketball fans are everywhere in the world, and this is not surprising. With such loyal fanbases, no wonder the NBA is brimming with celebrity fans. It is one of the few sports where fans are so dedicated that they even purchase stakes to have ownership of their favorite teams. 

These diehard and recognisable fans are as famous as the teams they support and have always been there sitting courtside and supporting the NBA players over the years. Each NBA team has a celebrity fan, and the following are some of the most known ones. 

Toronto Raptors: Drake

If we are talking about one of the most tight-knit fan-team relationships, then Drake is a perfect example. The rapper has been supporting the Raptors for years and was even hired as their “Global Ambassador” in 2013. Because of this, the NBA team was able to raise its profile and signed some huge stars. Last year, the Raptors renamed their practice facility in honor of Drake’s record label to the OVO Athletic Centre. 

Brooklyn Nets: JAY-Z

Another iconic rapper that helped change the future of his favorite NBA team is JAY-Z. Back in 2012, he helped the Nets move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. He was a huge fan and even had an ownership stake in the team, although it was just for 0.15%, he had to pay about a million dollars. Even though he later sold it, he still has his stake in the Barclays Center, which is an indoor arena that’s home to the Brooklyn Nets. It is valued at $2 million.

Chicago Bulls: Barack Obama

The celebrity fan of this NBA team is no less than the previous president of the United States! Obama is known for being an avid sports fan, but basketball might be the sport that is closest to his heart. During his presidency, he even made time to get courtside seats for a Bulls home game in 2015. There’s also a book that was written about the former president’s love of the sport and how it influenced his career.  

Atlanta Hawks: 2 Chainz

This NBA team is known to have the best partnerships with their celebrity fans of any franchise in the NBA, according to Forbes. Because Atlanta Hawks is at the heart of one of the hip-hop capital cities, it has rap icon fans like T.I., Future, and 2 Chainz. In fact, 2 Chainz announced last year that he had bought a minority stake in the College Park Skyhawks, which is Atlanta Hawks’ NBA G League affiliate. He also performed in several halftime shows at this NBA team’s games and has his own custom jersey-style T-shirt.

Houston Rockets: Travis Scott

Travis Scott actually worked as a ball boy for the franchise while in high school, so you can see why he is a fan. He is also known for being a Houston boy through and through. You can often see him sitting courtside at various Rockets games. James Harden, who is a famous player in the team, is someone he is close to, and he even featured him in his “Way Back” music video. Last year, Scott also designed a custom Rockets jersey, which was inspired by his “Astroworld” album.   

Boston Celtics: Matt Damon

One of the many celebrity fans of the Celtics is Matt Damon. If you confuse him with his lookalike, Mark Wahlberg, it’s alright because Wahlberg is a Celtic fan too. Damon, who is a Cambridge, Massachusetts native, has been a fan of the team and has seen them win six championships. Back in 2008, he even predicted that Boston Celtics would win another NBA title over the Lakers while accepting an award in LA, Damon was right despite the many boos he received from the crowd. 

Because of such fans, the NBA has come a long way. But, you also have to remember that regardless of whether you are famous or not, it doesn’t take much to support your favorite teams. You can try out sports betting with bespoke bookmakers and see for yourself how fun and profitable basketball betting is.

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