KC Jones, a legendary NBA point guard with all possible titles, passes away.
The 88-year-old Celtics idol won eight championships as a player, two as a coach, two as an assistant, two in the NCAA and one Olympic gold.
KC Jones, one of the greatest players in the NBA , passed away this Friday at the age of 88. His immense legacy places him without question among the most important figures in basketball history.
Eight rings as a Celtics player, the first in 1959 and the last in 1966, two as a coach, in 1984 and 1986, one as an assistant coach in 1981, always with the Celtics, and another, also as an assistant coach in the ranks of the Celtics. maximum rival, the Lakers, in 1972, give a first approximation of the relevance of the athlete, born in Taylor, Texas, in May 1932.
But his collection is completed with two titles in the University League (NCAA) in 1955 and 1956 and Olympic gold with the United States team at the Melbourne Games in 1956.
This collection of titles in the NBA, the NCAA and the Games allows him to be on the exclusive list of players who have managed to win in those three competitions along with six other legends: Bill Russell , Clyde Lovellette, Jerry Lucas, Magic Johnson , Michael Jordan and Quinn Buckner.
I just received a call letting me know my x-roommate / teammate & most of all friend the great KC Jones passed this morning. Prayers to his family. We have been friends for almost 60yrs, this our last photo together. Friends for life # 2020Usuck ! #RIP @NBA @celtics pic.twitter.com/Ia6yZB5l2x
The life of KC Jones will remain forever linked with the legendary Celtics who, under the leadership of Red Auerbach , tied 11 titles in 13 seasons, from 1957 to 1969. The last two were already under the direction of Bill Russell, whom Auerbach designated as his successor as coach and player.
Russell is the player with the most rings in history, 11, eight of them with KC Jones. Both were trained at the University of San Francisco with which they won two NCAA titles and formed in the team that won the Olympic gold medal in Melbourne. Russell, with his eleven rings and another Celtics player, Sam Jones, with ten, are the only ones who add more than KC Jones.
Russell and KC Jones were also part of the first quintet in NBA history made up entirely of black players. It was in the 1963-1964 season and the other three were Willie Naulls, Tom Sanders and Sam Jones.
KC Jones excelled especially in defensive tasks. That and the extraordinary quality of players like his teammates Russell or Bob Cousy, or rivals like Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, did not give him as much relevance.
During his early days, it was doubted that he could even be at a high enough level to lead those Celtics, especially after point guard Bob Cousy retired in 1964. “I didn’t understand how a player who threw so badly could stay in the NBA.
“Cousy confessed in 1983.” I didn’t think his qualities were enough. But he was wrong. He turned out to be an incredible defender and learned to score enough that the opponents couldn’t afford to float him. ” KC Jones started his career with an average of 3.5 points but reached averages of eight or nine points,
As a coach, he worked for a team of the defunct ABA, in San Diego, and was as an assistant to his former teammate in the Celtics, Bill Sharman, with whom he achieved his first ring, in the Lakers, in 1971.
After a stage in the Capital Bullets, he returned to the Celtics as an assistant coach to Bill Fitch and won the title in 1981. And as head coach since 1983, he earned two rings in five years with another legendary team, featuring Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.