KC Jones Rumors
Down by 2, Hawks player/coach Alex Hannum threw the ball off the backboard from the other end of the floor only to see Bob Pettit’s put-back attempt roll off the rim. Wouldn’t you like to have seen it? Sadly, no complete video account exists. Thus began the greatest sustained run of dominance in NBA history. With Russell as the anchor, the Celtics survived the retirements of Sharman (1961), Cousy and Ramsey (1963), Heinsohn (1965), and K.C. Jones (1967), not to mention the exit of Auerbach as coach in 1966, to keep on keeping on, culminating in the most unlikely of all Celtics triumphs, the conquest of the mighty Wilt Chamberlain/Elgin Baylor/Jerry West Lakers in the famous 1969 Game 7 “Balloon Game.”
NBA PR: The NBA today unveiled the 15 Greatest Coaches in NBA History as part of the continuing celebration of the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. The list was selected by a panel of 43 current & former NBA head coaches in collaboration with the National Basketball Coaches Association.
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.