The Boston Celtics confirmed the passing of K.C. Jones. Jones starred alongside legendary center Bill Russell with both San Francisco and Boston. He made his debut in the 1958-59 season and with the Celtics, won an National Basketball Association title in each of his first eight seasons in the league.
On Christmas Day, the National Basketball Association presented a five-game event, which was kicked off by the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans.
As a part of the US Men's Olympic team, he won a Gold Medal in 1956. The others are Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas, Quinn Buckner and Clyde Lovellette.
Jones wasn't flashy, and his playing days weren't filled with gaudy stat lines; he averaged just 7.4 points in his career. He retired in 1967 and began coaching, first in college at Brandeis and Harvard before joining the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant, in 1971-72, where he earned another championship ring. After stops in Washington and Milwaukee, he returned to the Celtics as an assistant in 1978. Then in 1981, he assisted Bill Fitch to win another championship for the Celtics. The Nets are one of the most exciting National Basketball Association teams to watch this season with Kevin Durant returning from an Achilles injury to wear a Nets uniform for the first time and Nash taking the head coaching duties.
Jones would go on to coach with the Detroit Pistons and Seattle Super Sonics, before one final stint with the Celtics. 21 of those were with teams in Greater Boston.
"The Celtics family mourns his loss as we celebrate his remarkable career and life", the team's statement said.
"Where K.C. Jones went, winning was sure to follow", the Celtics said in a statement before their Christmas Day game against the Brooklyn Nets.
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Jackson won two titles as a player and 11 as a coach while Auerbach won nine as a coach and seven as an executive.
Jones joined Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Quinn Buckner, Jerry Lucas and Clyde Lovellette as the only players to complete the "Triple Crown" of National Basketball Association and NCAA titles plus Olympic gold. His number 25 has hung from the rafters since 1967.
"K.C.'s coaching career was similarly illustrious".
Only Chicago Bulls and Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and Jones' former Celtics' head coach Red Auerbach have won more titles than Jones. Kevin Durant led the Nets with 29 points and Kyrie Irving had 25 for Brooklyn, which had become the first club since the 2008-09 Lakers to win their first two games by 20 or more points.
"KC Jones was among the most decorated champions in the history of our game", said Silver.
Together, they reached the NBA Finals four straight seasons (1984-87), winning titles in 1984 and "86".