K. C. Jones
Jones, circa 1964
May 25, 1932 |
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||Commerce (San Francisco, California)|
|College||San Francisco (1952–1956)|
|NBA draft||1956 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|1971–1972||Los Angeles Lakers (assistant)|
|1972–1973||San Diego Conquistadors|
|1973–1976||Capital / Washington Bullets|
|1976–1977||Milwaukee Bucks (assistant)|
|1978–1983||Boston Celtics (assistant)|
|1989–1990||Seattle SuperSonics (assistant)|
|1994–1995||Detroit Pistons (assistant)|
|1996–1997||Boston Celtics (assistant)|
|1997–1998||New England Blizzard|
|Career highlights and awards|
As assistant coach:
|Points||5,011 (7.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,399 (3.5 rpg)|
|Assists||2,908 (4.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
K. C. Jones (born May 25, 1932) is an American retired professional basketball player and coach. He is best known for his association with the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA), with which he won 11 of his 12 NBA Championships (eight as a player, one as an assistant coach, and two as a head coach). As a player, Jones is tied for third for most NBA championships in a career, and is one of three NBA players with an unsurpassed 8-0 record in NBA Finals series outcomes. Jones holds the distinction of being the only African-American non-player head coach to win multiple NBA Finals.
Jones played college basketball at the University of San Francisco and, along with Bill Russell, led the Dons to two NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. Jones also played with Russell on the United States team which won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
After completing college and joining the NBA, Jones considered a career as a NFL player, even trying out for a team. However, he failed to make the cut. During his playing days, he was known as a tenacious defender. Jones spent all of his nine seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, being part of eight championship teams from 1959 to 1966. Jones and Russell, and five others, are the only players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal.
In NBA history, only teammates Bill Russell (11 championships) and Sam Jones (10 championships) have won more championship rings during their playing careers. After Boston lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1967 playoffs, Jones ended his playing career.
Hall of Fame legacy
K.C. Jones was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.
Jones began his coaching career at Brandeis University, serving as the head coach from 1967 to 1970. Jones served as an assistant coach at Harvard University from 1970 to 1971. Jones then reunited with former teammate Bill Sharman as the assistant coach for the 1971–72 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers during the season the team won a record 33 straight games. The following season, Jones became the first coach of the San Diego Conquistadors, an American Basketball Association franchise which would have a very short life. A year later, in 1973 he became head coach of the Capital Bullets (which became the Washington Bullets one year later), coaching them for three seasons and leading them to the NBA Finals in 1975.
In 1983, he took over as head coach of the Boston Celtics, replacing Bill Fitch. Jones guided the Larry Bird-led Celtics to the championship in 1984 and 1986. Also in 1986, Jones led the Eastern squad in the 1986 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas at the Reunion Arena, beating the Western squad 139–132. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division in all five of Jones's seasons as head coach and reached the NBA Finals in 4 of his 5 years as coach. In a surprise announcement, he retired after the 1987-88 season and was succeeded by assistant coach, Jimmy Rodgers. He spent one season in the Celtics front office in 1988-89 and then resigned to join the Seattle SuperSonics as an assistant coach and basketball consultant for the 1989-90 season. He served as head coach of the Sonics in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
In 1996, Jones returned to the Boston Celtics, this time as an assistant coach for one season.
Jones returned to the professional coaching ranks in 1997, guiding the New England Blizzard of the fledgling women's American Basketball League (1996–1998) through its last 1½ seasons of existence. The Blizzard made the playoffs in Year 2, but they were summarily dispatched by the San Jose Lasers.
NBA career Statistics
Life after the NBA
Today, Jones works for the University of Hartford Athletic Office and does the color commentary for the University of Hartford Men's Basketball. Contrary to common belief, Jones is in no way related to former Celtics teammate Sam Jones.
Head coaching record
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win-loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win-loss %|
|Capital||1973–74||82||47||35||.573||1st in Central||7||3||4||.429||Lost in Conference Semifinals|
|Washington||1974–75||82||60||22||.732||1st in Central||17||8||9||.471||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Washington||1975–76||82||48||34||.585||2nd in Central||7||3||4||.429||Lost in Conference Semifinals|
|Boston||1983–84||82||62||20||.756||1st in Atlantic||23||15||8||.652||Won NBA Championship|
|Boston||1984–85||82||63||19||.768||1st in Atlantic||21||13||8||.619||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Boston||1985–86||82||67||15||.817||1st in Atlantic||18||15||3||.833||Won NBA Championship|
|Boston||1986–87||82||59||23||.720||1st in Atlantic||23||13||10||.565||Lost in NBA Finals|
|Boston||1987–88||82||57||25||.695||1st in Atlantic||17||9||8||.529||Lost in Conference Finals|
|Seattle||1990–91||82||41||41||.500||5th in Pacific||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
Awards and honors
- Two-time NCAA Champion
- 1956 Olympic Gold Medal winner
- 12-time NBA Champion (eight as a player, two as a head coach, two as an assistant coach)
- "Triple Crown" winner
- Five-time NBA All-Star Game head coach
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 1989)
- College Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2006)
- U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (class of 1986 – as a member of the 1956 U.S. men's basketball team)
- 2016 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award
- NBA Legends profile: K.C. Jones
- Berkman, Seth (June 19, 2016), "N.B.A. Finals Legend or Loser? Luck Is Often the Difference", The New York Times
- "Throwback Thursday: K.C. Jones". The Starting Five. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- Basketball's Triple Crown – The Post Game.com
- Former Celtic K.C. Jones to Coach Basketball Here
- SPORTS PEOPLE: BASKETBALL; K. C. Jones Returns as Aide With Pistons – New York Times. Nytimes.com (1994-09-03). Retrieved on 2013-03-07.
- K.C. Jones Joins Celtics As Assistant
- U.S. Olympic HOF members – NBC Sports.com
- K. C. Jones at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- NBA.com profile
- BasketballReference.com: K.C. Jones (as coach)
- BasketballReference.com: K.C. Jones (as player)
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