The great Boston Celtics dynasty that Red Auerbach built in the 1950’s and ‘60’s is slowly departing the stage. John Havlicek is gone. Frank Ramsey, gone. KC Jones, gone. Bill Sharman gone.
And now, the great Sam Jones is gone too.
Jones was born in Wilmington during the height of the depression and went to school in Durham at what was then North Carolina College (now known as North Carolina Central University, aka NCCU), where he played for the legendary John McClendon.
Bones McKinney tipped Red Auerbach off about Jones, telling him Jones had “the dangdest bank shot you’ve ever seen.”
For a sense of perspective, Michael Jordan has six rings. As a Celtic, Jones won 10 titles; only teammate Bill Russell won more, with 11. He was one of the great clutch shooters in the history of the game and, from all reports, a good and decent man. Basketball will miss him dearly.