K.C. Jones - #25 - Boston Celtics
Guard | 6'1" | 200 lbs. | Born: May 5, 1932
- Played all nine seasons with Celtics
- Eight-time NBA champion as a player
- Two-time NBA champion as a coach
- No. 25 retired by the Celtics
- Won Gold Medal in 1956 Olympics
- 1989 Inductee of the Basketball Hall of Fame
Drafted in the second round of the 1956 NBA Draft.
K.C. Jones - Biography
Seven coaches have passed through the Celtics organization as both a player and a coach. None have been more successful in both regards than the legendary K.C. Jones.
Jones began his illustrious career with the Celtics when the team selected him in the second round of the 1956 NBA Draft. After playing a key role in the University of San Francisco’s back-to-back NCAA basketball championships in 1955 and 1956 – ironically, alongside a guy named Bill Russell – Jones brought his habit of winning to Boston.
All nine of Jones’ NBA seasons were played in Boston. Eight of them resulted in NBA championships.
Jones, a 6-foot-1 guard, was a strong all-around player for the Celtics for all nine of those seasons. He averaged only 25.9 minutes per game during his career, but despite that limited playing time, he still accrued career averages of 7.4 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game and 4.3 assists per game. His top scoring season was in 1961-62, when he scored 9.2 PPG in just 25.7 minutes of playing time a night. Jones maxed out in the assist category in 1965-66 with 6.3 APG.
As most great players do, Jones stepped his game up during his team's postseasons. He scored in double-digits during the 1964-65 playoffs, averaging 10.1 PPG. During the previous postseason, he dished out nearly seven helpers a game.
Jones and the Celtics failed to capture an NBA title for the first time in his career in the 1966-67 season. That, to Jones, signaled that it was time for him to hang up his sneakers.
Jones retired following that season and, as is customary with Celtics Legends, his number was retired almost immediately. Boston held a retirement ceremony for his No. 25 jersey on Feb. 12, 1967.
Luckily for both parties, Jones didn’t need to travel far for the ceremony. He had immediately transitioned into coaching following his playing days, landing his first gig at Brandeis University, which is located in the suburbs of Boston. He moved back to the pros as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971 before eventually returning to the Celtics as head coach in 1983.
It didn’t take long for Jones to earn another ring with the Celtics. His team won the NBA championship in his first season after going 62-20 during the regular season. Two years later, Boston also captured the 1986 title.
Jones left the Celtics coaching staff following the 1987-88 season with the highest winning percentage of any coach in team history, at 75.1 percent. He can still make that claim to this day, and his 308 regular-season wins currently rest as the fourth-most in team history, behind only Red Auerbach (795), Tom Heinsohn (427) and Doc Rivers (416).
The Seattle SuperSonics were lucky enough to lure Jones to their organization as head coach in 1990, but that stint was short-lived. Jones served as the Sonics’ head coach for just two seasons that featured one playoff birth.
Although Jones did have short stints as a coach outside of Boston, he will forever be known as a Celtic. He was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as such in 1989.
The Celtics have 17 banners hanging in their rafters, and Jones helped to raise a whopping 10 of them in just 14 total seasons. Eight were raised during nine seasons as a player and two were raised during five seasons as a coach.
That’s the stuff legends are made of.
Height: 6'1" Weight: 200 LBS Birth: 05/25/32 College: SAN FRANCISCO '56
Second round draft choice in 1956... retired in 1967.