Celtics

Ex-Celtics guard Tony Allen shares awesome story about the "Tommy Award"

Celtics

Tommy Heinsohn had an impact on so many Boston Celtics players during his six-plus decades with the team as a player, coach and broadcaster.

Sadly, the basketball world lost a legend Monday when Heinsohn died at age 86.

One of the best parts of every Celtics broadcast on NBC Sports Boston is the "Tommy Award", which is given to one player each night who makes a tremendous impact on the game in several facets. It's not about who scores the most points. It's about making winning plays on both ends of the court.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Remembering Tommy Heinsohn | Listen & subscribe 

In fact, the "Tommy Award" has been given out over 1,500 times and has been won by 144 different players since 2002. One of those recipients is former Celtics guard Tony Allen.

Allen was asked Wednesday on the "Chris Vernon Show" about Heinsohn, and he told a great story about wanting to win the "Tommy Award" and re-watching the end of the Celtics game broadcast to see if he won that particular night.

"You always look for a Tommy Point. Any Celtic who's ever put on a Celtics uniform always was thankful for a Tommy Point," Allen said. "Tommy Points came when you hustled, you dive for loose balls, you take charges and you make winning plays. You win a 50-50 game and you get a Tommy Point. Big shoutout to Tommy Heinsohn. I send my condolences, rest up, king."

 

Allen added: "I used to go back home and look at the game, rewind, did I get (the Tommy Award)? I tried to play hard enough to know that I was going to get that."

Check out the entire segment in the video below:

Allen won the Tommy Award 45 times -- the sixth-most of any player. Marcus Smart, who brings a lot of the same skills to the floor as Allen did, is the leader among current Celtics players with 54. Allen was the kind of player Heinsohn loved -- someone who gave maximum effort on every play and dedicated himself to doing all the little things that collectively play a big role in whether your team wins or loses.

For more on the Tommy Award, check out this piece by our Celtics insider Chris Forsberg:

How 'Tommy Points' became a phenomenon