Boston Celtics legend Sam Jones has passed away at the age of 88. Jones won 10 NBA championships with the Celtics from 1959-1969, earning five All-Star selections during his 13-year career. His No. 24 hangs in the rafters at the Garden, and Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. He’s also been named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team, 50th Anniversary Team, and 75th Anniversary Team.
Jones passed away Thursday night of natural causes, according to a team spokesperson.
The Celtics will hold a moment of silence in his honor before Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns at TD Garden, where Jones’ No. 24 jersey hangs in the rafters. “You look at the championships and what he did, it’s obviously a big loss for the community here,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka told reporters Friday.
Jones spent his entire 12-year career with the Celtics, averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Known for his shooting prowess in an era that had yet to introduce the 3-point line, the five-time All-Star averaged a career-best 25.9 points per game in the 1964-65 season.
In addition to being inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Jones was also named to the NBA’s 25-, 50- and 75-year anniversary teams as one of the league’s greatest players ever. His No. 24 Boston jersey is retired in the rafters of TD Garden.
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