Jim "Loscy" Loscutoff - #18 - Boston Celtics
Forward | 6'5" | 220 lbs. | Born: February 4, 1930
- Played all nine seasons with Celtics
- Seven-time NBA champion
- Asked to not have his number retired so another Celtic could wear it
- Averaged a double-double (10.6 pts, 10.4 reb) in his sophomore season
- Had his nickame "Loscy" raised to the rafters on April 14, 1973
Drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1955 NBA Draft.
Jim "Loscy" Loscutoff
Celtics fans often gaze skyward at the TD Garden’s rafters, enamored by the numerous banners that hang in commemoration of the organization’s storied past.
Among the 17 championship pennants is a collection of 21 retired numbers that represent Celtics legends spanning across several generations.
Eyes frequently pause on one of those numerical banners in particular, which consists of two columns and four rows and displays seven inactive numbers.
One patch, rather than toting a number, bears the word “LOSCY,” which slants diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right.
Observant first-timers to the Garden regularly wonder aloud why there is a name, not a number, residing on that patch.
Ask any member from the organization’s glory days and they will tell you it’s a distinctive honor that Jim Loscutoff earned through his tenacious playing style and selfless personality.
Celtics legend Red Auerbach loved fearless enforcers, and no player filled that role better than Loscutoff during Boston’s early years of success.
The hard-nosed forward, known as “Loscy” to his peers, played nine seasons with the Celtics from 1955 to 1964, and was a member of the organization’s first seven championship teams.
Prior to his time in Green, Loscutoff had been a standout rebounder at the University of Oregon. The Celtics, in dire need of a gritty defender at the time, selected him with the third overall pick of the 1955 NBA Draft.
The power forward impacted the team immediately with his dogged defense. He finished his rookie season as Boston’s second-highest rebounder and established a then-team record when he corralled 27 rebounds during one game.
Loscy did not fit the traditional lanky frame of a basketball player from the 1950s and 60s; he was built like a bull and he played like one. The muscular forward stood 6-foot-5 and used every ounce of his 220-pound frame to perfect his role as the team’s physical enforcer.
Auerbach once said that Loscutoff had two jobs: “He was there to rebound and to make sure that nothing happened to Bob Cousy.”
He played a big brother-like role for his teammates; if an opponent got too physical with them, Loscy would be there to return the favor. That tough style of play eventually earned him another nickname: “Jungle Jim.”
Loscutoff enjoyed his most successful statistical season during his sophomore campaign, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. He averaged 10.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game during the 1956-57 season and Boston went on to win its first NBA title.
The Celtics won six more championships during Loscy’s final seven seasons and he posted career averages of 6.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. His true worth, however, did not appear in the nightly box scores. As a defensive specialist and enforcer, his value could only be understood by those who saw him play.
It was because of Loscutoff’s tenacious style of play that the Celtics desired to retire his jersey No. 18 to the Boston Garden rafters following his playing days. He respectfully declined the request, however, so that future Celtics could don the number. Dave Cowens went on to wear No. 18, and it was later retired in his honor.
The team instead recognized Loscutoff by raising his nickname “Loscy” high above the parquet floor to hang among the retired numbers worn by his legendary peers. It’s a distinction that no other Celtic holds.
Following his retirement from the NBA in 1964, Loscy became a teacher and a coach at Boston State College. That same year he opened Camp Evergreen – a day camp for children – in Andover, which his family has now run for more than half a century.
Loscutoff passed away on Dec. 1, 2015 at the age of 85.
His name, however, will remain immortal, as it will continue to hang distinctly from the Garden rafters for all fans and players to admire.
Height: 6'5" Weight: 220 LBS Birth: 02/04/30 College: UNIVERSITY OF OREGON '55
First round draft choice (the third pick overall) in 1955... retired after the 1963-64 season.