Boston, Dec 26 (IANS) Basketball Hall of Famer K.C. Jones has passed away aged 88 in Connecticut, Boston Celtics informed on Saturday.
He had been receiving care for Alzheimer’s disease for several years.
One of the most successful players and coaches in the history of the franchise, Jones won a remarkable 11 championships with the Celtics — eight as a player in the 1950s and 1960s, and three as a coach in the 1980s. However, he was even more successful as a role model and a friend to those who had the privilege of playing with him and for him.
“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,” Celtics legend Larry Bird said in a statement.
Jones is the second Celtics legend who has died in the past month and a half. His former teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer Tommy Heinsohn passed away Nov. 9.
Just two days prior to Jones’ death, the team held a pre-game memorial for Heinsohn, who, like Jones, won a plethora of championships with the Celtics both as a player and as a head coach.
“We’ve had this too much lately with some of our greatest winners and greatest people that have been part of this organization,” Current Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “On a day that people always value their time with family and friends, obviously hampered by the year we’ve all had, it’s a real tough blow. Our condolences are with his family,” he added.