Sam Jones, Celtics Hall Of Famer, Dead At 88

Photo: Getty Images

Sam Jones has died at the age of 88.

According to ESPN, the basketball legend who won 10 titles with the Boston Celtics from 1959-1969, passed away in Florida — where he'd been reportedly hospitalized "in failing health" — Thursday evening (December 30).

"Sam Jones will be remembered as one of the most prolific champions in all of professional sports," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "His selfless style, clutch performances and signature bank shot were hallmarks of an incredible career that featured 10 NBA championships in 12 seasons with the Boston Celtics."

Silver continued, "An HBCU legend at North Carolina Central University and a member of the NBA's 25th, 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, Sam was a beloved teammate and respected competitor who played the game with dignity and class. We mourn the passing of a basketball giant and send our deepest condolences to Sam's family and the Celtics organization."

Jones was the eighth overall pick in the 1957 NBA Draft. He went on to become a five-time All-Star, who led the Celtics in scoring for three seasons. When he retired, he held the franchise record for most points scored in a game with 51.

Jones, who played all 12 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics, won the second most  titles, 10, out of any NBA player only behind teammate Bill Russell, who won 11.

"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.' [...] 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."

Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984.

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