Sam Jones (basketball player)

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Basketball player
Sam Jones
Sam Jones (1969)
Sam Jones in the Boston Celtics Jersey (1969)
Player information
Full name Samuel Jones II
Nickname Mr. Clutch
birthday June 24, 1933
place of birth Wilmington , North Carolina , United States
date of death December 30, 2021 at the age of 88
Place of death Boca Raton , Florida , United States
size 193 cm
Weight 90 kg
position Shooting Guard
High school Laurinburg Institute
( Laurinburg )
college North Carolina Central
NBA draft 1957 , 8th pick , Boston Celtics
league NBA
Jersey number 24
Clubs as active
1957 - 1969 United StatesUnited States Boston Celtics
Clubs as coaches
1974-1975 United StatesUnited States New Orleans Jazz

Samuel Jones II (born June 24, 1933 in Wilmington , North Carolina , † December 30, 2021 in Boca Raton , Florida ) was an American basketball player for the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He had a very successful career in which he won ten NBA championships between 1957 and 1969, making him the second most successful NBA player of all time after his teammate Bill Russell . Jones has been a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 1984 .


1957–61: Noble joker

Despite being a talented basketball player as a teenager, Jones initially wanted to become a teacher. When Celtics coach Red Auerbach drafted him at position 8 in 1957, he expected to hardly get any playing time behind regular players Bob Cousy ( Point Guard ) and Bill Sharman ( Shooting Guard ). With a height of 1.94 meters, Jones was also considered too tall and awkward from the point of view of the time.

Auerbach, however, established Jones as Sixth Man , who came from the bench against worn opponents to easy points. Jones converted 45% of his throws when the league average for Shooting Guards back then was little more than 40%. With him as a noble joker, the Celtics won the title hat trick in 1959-61. Jones' point average rose to 15 points per game. His height allowed him to throw over his competitors, and with his sprint speed Jones was a good counter player ("Fast break specialist"), who used the many rebounds of center and team captain Bill Russell for easy baskets. In particular, Jones perfected the throw with the help of the board ("bank shot"), which became his trademark.

1962-69: NBA star

When Sharman resigned after the NBA finals series in 1961, Jones was the new starting shooting guard of the Celtics from 1961-62 . He cemented his reputation as a strong-nerved player in the final series of the Eastern Conference Finals, where he decided the decisive game 7 with a basket one second before the end. Jones established himself as one of the best guards of his generation by increasing his point average to 25 and being elected to the All-Star team for the first of five times in 1962 . With him and his namesake KC Jones (to whom he is not related) as the new point guard, the Celtics won the championship every year until 1966.

When in 1967 the Philadelphia 76ers around superstar Wilt Chamberlain defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals after eight years and became champions, the team around the 34-year-old player- coach Russell and Jones was considered too old. When the 76ers and the Celtics met again, the veteran Celtics caught up 1: 3 deficit, won the series 4: 3 and were champions after a convincing final series against the Los Angeles Lakers by Jerry West in 1968. The last coup by Russell and Jones followed in 1969, again against the Lakers, who had now signed Chamberlain. At 1-2 games, Jones hit a heavy six-yard throw in the third game after nearly slipping, and the Celtics won 89-88. Although the aging Jones was dominated by his rival West, there was a crucial Game 7, in which Jones played his part in the Celtics winning 108-106 and after deficit of 2-2 and 2-3 were still champions .

After that, Jones resigned. As a token of reverence, his number 24 jersey will never be awarded again by the Celtics. In 1984 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. With 15,411 points, he is the sixth-best point collector in Celtics history. On his page, Jones is referred to as the legitimate predecessor of NBA legend Michael Jordan , who was also a tall guard and very successful, because of his height, athleticism, strong nerves and his success .

Sam Jones died in late December 2021 at the age of 88. The actor Sam Jones III is his son.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Matt Schudel: Sam Jones, Hall of Fame shooting star of Boston Celtics dynasty, dies at 88. In: The Washington Post , January 1, 2021, accessed January 2, 2021.