Hall of Fame Celtics player, coach K.C. Jones dies

Jones won two NCAA championships while playing with Bill Russell at the University of San Francisco. He also paired with Russell to lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
KC Jones (right) talking with a player
KC Jones (right) talking with a player
Updated on Dec 26, 2020 07:50 AM IST
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Reuters | ByReuters

Former Boston Celtics player and coach K.C. Jones died Friday at the age of 88, the team announced.

A cause of death for the Hall of Famer was not immediately known.

“The way that he was revered by the players he played with, by the people he worked with, by the players that played for him, he was special,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Jones.

Jones won two NCAA championships while playing with Bill Russell at the University of San Francisco. He also paired with Russell to lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Jones joined the Celtics after being selected with the 13th overall pick of the 1956 NBA Draft. His first eight seasons ended with NBA championships, and he went on to win four more titles -- two as an assistant (one with the Los Angeles Lakers, one with Boston) and two more as a head coach with the Celtics.

Jones averaged just 7.4 points during his playing career, although his defensive skills were his calling card. He retired after the 1966-67 season.

Jones went on to coach at Brandeis University and made a few other stops before returning to the Celtics as an assistant under Bill Fitch in 1977. Jones later became the head coach of the Celtics and led the team to NBA titles in 1984 and 1986.

Jones, who owns a 552-306 coaching record during his time in the NBA and ABA, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.

--Field Level Media

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