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Celtics: Rest In Peace, K.C. #ForeverGreen ☘️ pic.twitter.com/IbLUeEaDbi
Guy Zucker: I approached KC Jones, the head coach, after one of the games at the old Boston Garden, and asked him for a short interview. “Give me your number,” he said, ” Someone from the Celtics will be calling you.” I was quite certain that he was just being polite and did not expect a call. However, within two days, I got a call from a staff member who told me to be ready at 3 pm the next day to be picked up to go see KC. “Are we going to practice?” I asked Wayne Lebeaux (the Celtics equipment and road Manager), the man who picked me up the next day. “No, we’re going to KC’s home,” he said.
Guy Zucker: Once inside KC’s home, he couldn’t have been nicer. Although I was young and a foreigner, he treated me with incredible interest and respect. There wasn’t even a trace of the inflated egos that are so commonly found in pro sports. “What are you studying,” he asked (politely, I thought) before we started the interview. “Sociology.’ “Anything interesting?” “Actually, I’m writing a term paper about the evolution of leaders in street basketball.” “Really?”
Guy Zucker: And so, once I was done, I made KC a copy, which I gave to him after another Celtics game. He thanked me. He also never forgot to say hello whenever he saw me afterwards. He once spotted me in a summer league game, when he was the Seattle Supersonics head coach. He came over, sat next to me and we watched an entire half together.
NBA Coaches Association: National Basketball Coaches Association Statement on the Passing of Legendary NBA Coach K.C. Jones
In the 1977-78 season, he became a Celtics assistant, working with Tom Heinsohn, Satch Sanders, Dave Cowens, and then Bill Fitch before taking over as head coach after the 1982-83 season, winning a championship in his first season. It’s unfortunate that Bird, McHale, Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Danny Ainge have received most, if not all, of the credit for that run. Those players adored Jones, especially Bird. “K.C. was the nicest man I ever met, he always went out of his way to make people feel good; it was such an honor to play for him,” Bird said in a text message. “K.C. and I had so many wins together, including two championships, which remain highlights of my life. His accomplishments are too many to list, but, to me, his greatest accomplishment was being such an outstanding person to all who had the privilege of knowing him. I will miss him dearly.”
“K.C. was a great coach to play for,” Ainge said. “He was a class act and everybody knew that and yet he had this competitive edge that was fierce. You wanted to do all you could to please K.C. as a coach. At the right time he knew what to say. He was a joy to be around. I looked at him as a mentor, a friend, much more than a coach.”
“K.C. was clearly the leader of our team,” Ainge said. “People are always looking for people who are seeking that attention and in front of the camera and K.C. was fine with everybody else getting the attention and not much focused on him. “There was a genuineness to him, a sincerity. There was no phoniness. We all knew that he cared deeply about us as people. He cared about the Celtics and the traditions but he really didn’t seek that attention and the players appreciated that in him. But he also stood up to some pretty strong personalities. He stood toe to toe with some of the stars on our team.”
Bill Russell: 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
Kyle Goon: Moment of silence for Celtics great KC Jones here at Staples Center. He was an assistant on the 72 championship Lakers team.
Tim MacMahon: Rick Carlisle has connected with several of his teammates from the ’86 Celtics championship team on a “very sad day” today after the death of coach K.C. Jones. “He was just a very, very special man,” Carlisle said.
Chris Grenham: Danny Ainge on KC Jones: “He was just a real guy. … He did a fantastic job of coaching, but more than that he was a friend and mentor and he really cared deeply about us as people.”
Chris Grenham: Danny Ainge on playing for KC Jones: “KC was a great coach to play for. … He had this competitive edge that was fierce. … But he had this gentleness and kindness. At the right time he knew what to say. He was a great leader of men.”
George Karl: Sad news about KC Jones today. Another big loss this year for our sport. This year has been a constant reminder to celebrate our gifts and the people we love!
Where K.C. Jones went, winning was sure to follow. K.C. – his given name – was a twelve-time NBA champion as player and coach, a two-time NCAA champion, and a Gold medal-winning Olympian and Hall of Famer. In NBA history, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones have more championship rings during their playing careers. K.C. along with Russell, Clyde Lovellette, Jerry Lucas, Quinn Buckner, Earvin “Magic “Johnson and Michael Jordan, are the only players in history to achieve basketball’s “Triple Crown” – winning an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal. His number 25 has hung from the rafters since 1967.
K.C.’s coaching career was similarly illustrious. He was named to lead the Celtics in 1983, beginning what is one of the most remarkable head coaching runs the NBA has seen. K.C. helmed the Celtics for two of the most memorable seasons in the team’s rich history, first leading the team to a championship in 1984 over the Lakers during a peak of that storied rivalry. Two seasons later, he led what many consider the greatest team in NBA history, the 1986 Champion Boston Celtics. These were the highlights of an astonishing four consecutive seasons in the NBA Finals, one of the most impressive and beloved Celtics eras.
K.C. also demonstrated that one could be both a fierce competitor and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He made his teammates better, and he got the most out of the players he coached. Never one to seek credit, his glory was found in the most fundamental of basketball ideals – being part of a winning team. The Celtics family mourns his loss, as we celebrate his remarkable career and life.
Keith Smith: Celtics legend KC Jones has passed away today. Jones was a part of 12 championships with the Celtics.
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March 7, 2021 | 6:07 am EST Update
The point is probably moot — sources have confirmed that Brooklyn appears to be the leader to gain Griffin’s employment. But for a second, let’s consider Griffin’s case to join the Lakers — and what it means for the team going forward in trades and buyout possibilities.
You look at the trade exception possibilities, and I think there are some realistic ones like Harrison Barnes. The Kings have been very bad lately. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if the Kings decided to move on from Barnes. I don’t think the price for him would be what it would be to get Grant or Vucevic.
As it turns out, it wasn’t anything internal that led to Bosh calling it a career. His decision actually came forth after seeing Gordon Hayward’s injured his ankle in the first few minutes of his debut for the Boston Celtics in the opening night of the 2017-18 season: “I really knew I wasn’t gonna come back when Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle,” Bosh said in a recent interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I told myself that year, I said, ‘Man, let me get back in the ball.’ Because I didn’t watch any basketball the year before. I’m gonna work out harder, I’m gonna get back inspired. Cleveland and Boston was playing. First game. Dwyane and ‘Bron. I watched my old friends at Cleveland. Boston’s got this new team. Within the first five minutes of me watching basketball that year, I see a dislocated ankle. And it pretty much knocked all the wind out of my sail. It was already really hard and getting more disheartening the further we were getting away from me not playing. And I knew that as a player. Whatever want that I had at that time, I was like, ‘Man, c’mon.’”
Mike Trudell: An updated @KingJames minutes stat: having played the 7th most minutes of any player this season, he is up to 60,607 combined regular season and playoff minutes. That trails only @kaj33 (66,297) and Karl Malone (62,759). Kobe is 4th with 56,882.
What was the year for you all that you thought ‘Man, that was ours. We should have had (ring), it should have popped that year? Chris Webber: I think it’s the, you know, I guess it’s the Lakers. I don’t know if that was 2002 or 03. That’s the year we got cheated I think in Game 6… The year Robert Horry hit a crazy shot… It was that year. It was that year. You know, me and Kobe used to talk about it all the time. (…) That was the team. We should have won the championship and we didn’t because we didn’t follow through after being disappointed in Game six.
How good was Andrei Kirilenko? Deron Williams: Very good. Very good and it could have been so much better if he could just shoot the basketball just a little bit better, just to where people had to be up on him. And he had games where he would hit three threes, four threes, but it wasn’t you weren’t worried about it. Like ‘oh, we’ll live with that.’ But I’ve never been around a player that could do everything he could do at his height. And defensively he was special. He was special.