K.C. Jones, Legendary Boston Celtics Player and Head Coach, Dies at 88

by Evan Reier
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12-time NBA Champion and Boston Celtics legend KC Jones died on Friday at the age of 88.

The team confirmed the news to ESPN writer Tim Bontemps, who tweeted out the news alongside one of many accomplishments from Jones.

Bill Russell is the name commonly brought up when thinking about the legendary Celtics teams from the 1960s. However, Jones was alongside him much of the way and at the University of San Francisco. Jones also went on to win more titles as a coach after his time as a player.

Besides his success in the NBA and in college, Jones also collected an Olympic Gold Medal after helping lead the United States to a 1956 title.

KC Jones, a Legendary Boston Celtic

It is astonishing to look at Jones’ NBA career. After immense success at the University of San Francisco, Jones somehow became a piece of an even more dominant stint in the pro game after joining the NBA before the 1958-1959 season.

In only nine seasons as a player, Jones won eight NBA championships, being part of a Celtic dynasty that is still unmatched in many ways. Winning a championship every year for eight years eventually ended with a playoff loss in 1966. This is when Jones elected to retire from playing.

Within seven years of playing retirement, Jones became a pro basketball head coach. Jones initially rose through the college ranks. The former Celtic went on to win an NBA title as an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers. Afterwards, Jones was hired as the head coach of the ABA’s San Diego Conquistadors in 1973.

In 1978, Jones returned to Boston as an assistant. By 1983, he became the Celtics head coach, adding two more NBA titles in the process in 1984 and 1986.

Russell and fellow Celtics teammate Sam Jones are the only players in NBA history to hold more titles as a player. He is also one of eight players ever to win a NCAA National Championship, NBA Championship and Olympic Gold Medal.

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