Sam Jones, a former Celtics guard who won 10 championships with the team during his playing career, passed away on Thursday night at age 88, team spokesperson Jeff Twiss confirmed to ESPN. Jones had been hospitalized in Florida prior to his death due to failing health.
The eighth overall pick in the 1957 draft, Jones spent his entire 12-year career in Boston, earning five All-Star nods during that time and averaging 17.7 PPG in 871 career regular season games (27.9 MPG). He won more titles than any other player besides longtime teammate Bill Russell and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1984. Jones was also named to the NBA’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams and had his No. 24 retired by the Celtics.
“Sam Jones was one of the most talented, versatile, and clutch shooters for the most successful and dominant teams in NBA history,” the Celtics said in a statement. “His scoring ability was so prolific, and his form so pure, that he earned the simple nickname, ‘The Shooter.’ He was also known as ‘Mr. Clutch.’
“… The Jones family is in our thoughts as we mourn his loss and fondly remember the life and career of one of the greatest champions in American sports.”
Our condolences go out to Jones’ family and friends.
More from around the Atlantic:
- The Celtics won’t be signing C.J. Miles to a second 10-day contract after his initial deal expired overnight on Thursday, head coach Ime Udoka confirmed today (Twitter link via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe).
- Within his look at some of this season’s top trade candidates, John Hollinger of The Athletic says the “consensus opinion” around the NBA is that the Sixers will likely move Ben Simmons before the February 10 deadline, despite having insisted they’re comfortable with the standoff dragging into the offseason.
- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Raptors‘ ownership group, announced on Thursday that the team won’t sell tickets for games at Scotiabank Arena for the next three weeks. Ontario has introduced a new temporary limit of 1,000 people in an indoor venue due to the effects of COVID-19 in the province, so the Raptors will play without fans in the short term rather than opening their doors to just a few hundred of them.