Consider his list of accomplishments: 12 NBA championships as a player and coach, two NCAA rings and an Olympic gold medal. This makes him one of only eight players in history to achieve the “Triple Crown” in basketball.
In fact, the win and Jones were so hand in hand that the constant joke was that the “C” in KC symbolized the championships.
The Boston Celtics announced Friday that Jones passed away this week at the age of 88.
The team did not reveal the cause of death and did not mention the exact date of his death.
“KC Jones has been among the most crowned champions in the history of our game,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Kavkaz Center’s extraordinary achievements and their impact will be remembered for a long time.”
Jones’ death was the second death of the Celtics celebrity this year.
KC is his first name. He is named after his father who is named after legendary railroad engineer Casey Jones.
His parents separated when he was nine years old. Jones moved with his mother and siblings to San Francisco.
“He learned there to play basketball on a slum of gravel in a poor neighborhood,” the profile said.
Jones attended the University of San Francisco. He was soft-spoken but an enormous presence.
The 6-foot-1 keeper made their mark by playing defensively, clinging to opponents like glue, denying them opportunities and endlessly frustrating them.
In college, he teamed up with Bill Russell – another player whose name and word “legend” are synonymous – and won two NCAA Championships.
The two were also part of the American team that won the gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
After two years in the military, Jones joined the Celtics. He was on his way to sealing his place in the history books.
Years of play
“In NBA history, only his teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones have had more championship rings during their careers,” the Celtics team said in a statement, recalling Jones’ achievements.
Jones played nine seasons in the NBA – all in Boston.
Eight ended in the NBA Championship.
After losing the Celtics to the 76ers in the 1967 Eastern Division Finals, Jones decided it was time to retire.
And when he did, the Celtics retired with their No. 25 jersey.
His winning days are over. His winning days as a coach were about to begin.
Years of training
After coaching stints at Brandeis University, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Bullets, Jones returned to the Celtics.
He was named head coach of the Celtics in 1983. In four of five seasons in which he played the role, he took the team to the NBA Finals.
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