KC Jones Rumors
A confluence of interests made the game happen. The Lakers were losing money in Minneapolis and were eager to sample a West Coast city. San Franciscans wanted to prove that the Cow Palace (technically in Daly City) could attract an NBA-sized crowd, and the powerhouse Celtics were an ideal opponent with two former University of San Francisco stars: Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.
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.