Legendary Boston Celtics player and coach K.C. Jones has passed away at the age of 88.
The Celtics family mourns the loss of twelve-time NBA champion, two-time NCAA champion, Gold medal-winning Olympian and Hall of Famer, K.C. Jones, as we celebrate his remarkable career and life.- Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 25, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/rPoO80yZFd pic.twitter.com/QxwcpjI0rj
Jones, who played his college ball alongside Bill Russell at the University of San Francisco, was selected by the Celtics with the 13th overall pick in the 1956 NBA Draft. He made his debut in the 1958-59 season and with the Celtics, won an NBA title in each of his first eight seasons in the league.
In league history, only Russell (11) and Sam Jones (10) won more titles than K.C. Jones did as a player. As such, K.C. Jones' No. 25 hangs in the rafters of TD Garden.
Following his retirement in 1967, Jones got into coaching, earning his first head coaching job with the ABA's San Diego Conquistadors in 1972. From there, Jones led the Washington Bullets from 1973-76 before eventually returning to Boston as an assistant coach in 1978.
After a five-year tenure as an assistant that saw him win a title in 1981, Jones was named head coach of the Celtics prior to the 1983-84 NBA season. In his first season as head coach, Jones led Boston to the 1984 NBA title. After losing in the 1985 NBA Finals, Jones again led the Celtics to the title in 1986. Jones also led the 1985-86 Celtics to an NBA-record 40-1 at home.
In total, Boston advanced to the Finals in four of the five seasons in which Jones was at the helm.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1989 and finished his NBA coaching career with a two-year stint as the Seattle SuperSonics lead man from 1990-92.
Jones' passing is yet another monumental loss for the basketball world in 2020.
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- TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) December 25, 2020
Brad Stevens on KC Jones: "The way he was revered by the players he played with, the people he worked with, the players that played for him, he was special." https://t.co/RTDf63emoP- Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) December 25, 2020
Sad news on this special day. KC Jones was a true Champion in every sense of the word. He personified class. RIP KC. https://t.co/stwC9NeZGb- Billy King (@bkdefend) December 25, 2020