Weltnachrichten – AU – KC: The quiet Celtics legend who won on all levels


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This low key, slightly enigmatic style suited the former Celtic, who won eight NBA titles as a player, two as head coach, and another as an assistant to the hated Lakers.

K. . C.. . Jones became the latest sports legend to pass away in that difficult year that included the death of longtime teammate Tom Heinsohn. He is one of only a handful of men to have won an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA title as a player.

Boston won the championship every year for its first eight NBA seasons after a military issue. In his final season in 1967 they were finally deposed as champions by the 76ers.

After serving as a valuable reserve apprentice to the great Bob Cousy, he was given the unenviable job of becoming the league’s most popular player when the legend retired in 1963. He only helped lead Boston to three more crowns. He was neither a good shooter nor the passer-by or goalscorer Bob, and he didn’t take the quick break with the composure of Cooz, but he was a superior defender and a tough competitor, smart and selfless.

The great Laker Jerry West said Jones was the toughest defender he had ever met. John Havlicek said K. . C.. . was one of the most respected men in the league because he always covered the top guard of the enemy. Jones was an athlete good enough to be drafted as a defender by the LA Rams as well.

College teammate and roommate Bill Russell said the silent Jones knew more about basketball than anyone he’d ever met. K. . C.. . I would travel long distances without speaking in their dorm – which bothered the talkative Russell.

When Jones finally said something, Russell jumped off the top bunk and said excitedly, « Yes, Case !? » If Jones spoke, it meant something.

In the mid-1980s, when Larry Bird peaked, Jones was the head coach of the Celtics. He led Boston to the NBA finals in each of its first four seasons. They won everything in 1984 and 1986 and lost in six games to the Laker in 1985 and 1987, largely due to injuries and a rougher path to the final. In its fifth season, Boston finished 4-2 in the run of Boston in 1988 with four titles at the Eastern Conference. The next season he was replaced by longtime assistant Jimmy Rodgers. That season he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jones reappeared in Seattle and trained the supersonics to one . 500 marks over the next few seasons before George Karl succeeds him.

He later coached a college team for women and other pro leagues. He was a pretty decent lounge singer too.

Before that, he coached the Washington Bullets up to the 1975 NBA final, beating the defending champions Celtics 4-2 in the Eastern Conference final. But then the heavily favored Bullets were swept by Golden State and Rick Barry in the 1975 NBA Finals, wiping out his 60-22 season.

The next year the Bullets lost 4-3 to Cleveland in the eastern semifinals and Jones was fired. He came back as a humble assistant to Bill Fitch and was often belittled by Bill who was a former drill sergeant and coach who came from the college ranks.

Once, if K. . C.. . Fitch showed a Celtic player how to do something in an exercise and asked the player to come to him so that he could show him how it should be done.

The players loved playing for Jones. His low-key, respectful style was the opposite of the sophisticated Fitch who did long, strenuous exercises and video sessions. Bill had a sharp sense of humor and was tough on players and, eventually, he was welcome.

With K. . C.. . less was more. He was also a clever talent judge. When Fitch downplayed promising rookie Kevin McHale in favor of the more physical Rick Robey, Jones reassured Kevin.

He was embarrassed by Fitch, but when he succeeded him, K. . C.. . led Boston to the NBA title in its first season in 1984. In its first three seasons at the helm, Boston had the best record in the league each season.

In the joyful Celtics locker room after winning the championship in 1984, K. . C.. . joked with Brent Musburger from CBS, who called him « the best coach in the world ». ”

With an ironic smile, Jones swayed, “I did everything myself, with a little help from Larry Bird. The 1975 final with Washington had finally been avenged.

Red Auerbach reprimanded the media and asked what happened to the so-called Lakers dynasty. He raised his hands three times to. NBA titles to feature one of the cutest.

In 1986 the two faced each other in the final and Jones got revenge. Fitch hadn’t got the best out of Danny Ainge, and the team was on the verge of running him as a free agent when his contract expired in 1984 before Danny did well in the final.

Ainge made a starter the next year and became an all-star under Jones. Fitch had undermined Ainge’s offensive confidence by using him as a defender.

« When Bill Fitch was here, I don’t think he thought I was a very good player, » Danny said in the 1986 final.

K. . C.. . and Boston beat Houston 4-2 in a streak that wasn’t as close as this score indicates. Three of the Boston wins were blowouts, and the Game 3 Rockets 2-0 win over Houston was a nail-biter marred by a late, accidental whistle that cost Boston.

When I revisited the end of the sixth game when Boston gave Houston in the garden to win the 16th. To secure title, I noticed Jones doing something that Fitch clearly dug up.

Of all five starters, he allowed Ainge to be the last to be removed from the clincher as the team celebrated. Not Bird, McHale, DJ or Robert Parish. He let Danny enjoy it longer because he knew Fitch had disregarded Ainge as a player. Danny rewarded him by playing very well in these finals.

K. . C.. . done little things like that that went largely unnoticed and undetected. But these types of actions build loyalty and I am sure Ainge has never forgotten them.

To be honest, as a die-hard Celtics fan in the Bird era, I always thought of K. . C.. . was coached by Pat Riley in the final that Boston lost to LA. As K. . C.. . Riley was a good athlete, a real scrapper, and a good defender. Jones even served as assistant coach for Los Angeles under former Celtics teammate Bill Sharman in the 1971-72 season.

The two ex-Californians have teamed up to lead the Lakers to their first LA title, a 33-game winning streak and a record 69-13. One of the top reserves on this Lakers championship team was none other than Riley.

Almost a decade later, Riley took over the position of head coach for the Lakers and hosted three memorable final showdowns against K.. . C.. . and the Celtics.

Riley was a better strategist and a more flashy and sleek dresser. But he was also less dignified than Jones. K. . C.. . got his players to play well, hard and selflessly by approaching them and treating them as men and competitors as he had as a player.

K. . C.. . didn’t bow to Pat’s level of manipulating officials through the media, didn’t whine about LA’s dirty game – which was not reported, but just as bad or worse than the supposedly rough style of the Celtics. He didn’t use the innumerable injuries or the tougher east as excuses in the fight against the attrition, the NBA playoffs.

A quote he made at a post-game press conference – I think it was after a blowout in Game 2 in LA in the 1987 final – impressed me with how insightful Jones can be.

« They just took our legs and minds off, » he said, refusing to admit or agree that injury and fatigue beat Boston when he could have easily done it.

The more I thought about it, the more he was right. They had mentally intimidated the weary Celtics along with their crowd. Michael Cooper, I remember, had hit six three-points and Boston was so tired and injured that they had done everything they could to make it to that final.

After another loss in the series, he tried to analyze the loss and then just said, « Ah, damn it. They just played better than us. “How many coaches are honest, egoless, and blunt enough to say that and not make excuses, especially at an NBA final? Few, if any.

But the battered and battered Celtics of 1987 took two grueling seven-game victories against Milwaukee and Detroit in just 26 days to reach the final. K. . C.. . The mother died during the Pistons series, and he missed Game 6 to attend her funeral. Then he flew back all night to rejoin the team they won for Game 7 in Boston.

In the west, the Lakers swept two sub-. 500 teams and defeated the Warriors 4-1 to reach the championship round in six fewer games than Boston. Though the finals began two days after the Pistons series, the Celtics gave LA everything they could before beating out 4-2.

Walton hardly played due to foot injuries. The league’s best seventh man, swingman sniper Scott Wedman, missed almost all of the season and all of the playoffs. Top pick Len Bias, the young and athletic super talent the team badly needed, had died of a drug overdose before he ever played an NBA game.

McHale struggled through a broken navicular bone in one foot and a sprain in the other foot, as well as the flu to play. He’s still limping to this day after playing this postseason while injured against doctor’s advice. Ainge sprained his knee in Game 7. the Bucks and missed the first three games of the legendary vicious Pistons series and never won his groove back against. LA.

Bird has a playoff record of 1 in 23 postseason games. 015 minutes set up. He and DJ played 3-400 minutes longer than their most popular Lakers counterparts in the 1987 playoffs. But like their coach, they made no excuses. You’d run through a wall for K. C.. . and often did.

Without some terrible calls in Game 4, when Boston was 16 points clear in the second half, the Celtics might have actually won it. It would have been the ultimate series win if they had made it over the rested, healthier Lakers on their home seat.

My favorite story about K. . C.. . Jones could be that somewhat apocryphal story that Bill Walton tells. I think it shows a lot of what K did. C.. . successful as a psychologist / coach and gives insight into his personality.

At the end of close matches, K. . C.. . I’d call timeout and design one final shot for Clutch Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, who like K. . C.. . was an excellent defender and fellow Californian. DJ was even designed by Russell when he ran the Seattle Club as a hardship second round in 1976.

Walton says Bird would get angry in the crowd and say, « Hey, I’m Larry Bird. Give me the ball! “

Walton said K. . C.. . I would stare at Larry, stick his thumb in his chest and say, « Shut up. I am the coach of this team. ”

Then after a moment he reached for his clipboard, started creating a piece and said, « Now we’re bringing the ball over here to Larry. . . « He knew exactly how to press the proud bird buttons to make sure he was angry enough to get over the moment and meet another game winner, which he usually did. « .

When Bird was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he chose Fitch and Walton as its moderators. But he hasn’t forgotten Jones. He called K. . C.. . “One of the greatest people walking the earth. “When the camera zoomed in on K.. C.. . He beamed with a big smile that was rarely seen in public.

Another good story is that Jones once punished the Celtics for scoring too many three-points in the pre-game scrum (imagine that today ?!).

When Boston won the opening tap, Ainge dribbled the ball onto the forecourt and immediately started a three on first possession.

Boston Celtics, KC Jones, NBA, Bill Russell, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets

World News – AU – KC: The quiet Celtics legend who won on all levels

Ref: https://www.celticsblog.com

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