They started as a simple way to highlight extraordinary effort and hustle plays, but turned into something much greater: a badge of honor for Celtics players to strive for.
When legendary Celtics broadcast duo Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn plus long-time producer Paul Lucey came up with the idea to hand out Tommy Points and Tommy Awards in the late 1990s, they had no idea that they would take on a life of their own.
In the wake of Heinsohn's death last week at age 86, players and colleagues alike discussed the legend of Tommy Points -- and now they're being used as a unique tribute for the Hall of Fame player and coach.
If you're not familiar with the website Basketball Reference, it's an incredible online resource, featuring the career stats of every single NBA player and coach. For a while, Heinsohn's player page has included his yearly stat lines and honors such as his Rookie of the Year Award and his six All-Star appearances -- but now there's a new addition, right at the bottom.
A big H/T to the Twitter user "ExtendAdamGase" (we'll refrain from commenting on that handle in this space) for pointing out the addition of one extra category on Heinsohn's page: 1st in Tommy Points Awarded.
It's a fitting and lovely tribute for Heinsohn, who scored over 12,000 of his own points during his playing career, but handed out thousands of Tommy Points to deserving Celtics players who showed that extra hustle and effort on the court.