Sam Jones (basketball)

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Sam Jones
Sam Jones, Boston Celtics, 1969.jpg
Jones playing for the Celtics in 1969
Personal information
Born (1933-06-24) June 24, 1933 (age 87)
Wilmington, North Carolina
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight198 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High schoolLaurinburg Institute
(Laurinburg, North Carolina)
CollegeNorth Carolina Central (1951–1954, 1956–1957)
NBA draft1957 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career1957–1969
PositionShooting guard
Number24
Career history
19571969Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points15,411 (17.7 ppg)
Rebounds4,305 (4.9 rpg)
Assists2,209 (2.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Samuel Jones (born June 24, 1933) is an American former professional basketball player at shooting guard. During his playing career, he was known for his quickness and game-winning shots, especially during the NBA Playoffs. He has the second most NBA championships of any player (10), behind his teammate Bill Russell (11). He was also one of only 3 Boston Celtics (along with teammates Bill Russell and K.C. Jones) to be part of the Celtics's 8 consecutive championships from 1959 to 1966. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame He was also inducted into the American Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct 13, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

College career[edit]

Jones attended and graduated from North Carolina Central University (then North Carolina College),[1] where he was a four-year letterwinner for Hall of Fame coach John McLendon and coach Floyd Brown. Jones scored 1,745 points, which is still second in school history. He was a three-time All-CIAA league selection. His jersey, no. 41, is retired and hangs in the Eagles' arena.

NBA career[edit]

Jones was 6-foot-4 (1.93 m) and weighed 200 lb (90 kg). Boston Celtics Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach took a trip south to scout North Carolina players who had just won the national championship. Former Wake Forest coach Bones McKinney told Auerbach he could visit Chapel Hill, but the best player in the state was a few miles away. Eventually, in the 1957 NBA draft, the Philadelphia Warriors selected North Carolina's Lennie Rosenbluth with the sixth pick. Boston selected Jones two picks later, even though Auerbach had never seen Jones play.

Jones was originally claimed by the Minneapolis Lakers, but he returned to college to earn his degree upon completion of military service, and therefore voided NBA rules.

In his 11th career game, Jones recorded 15 points and 5 rebounds in a 109-118 loss to the Syracuse Nationals.[2]

He owns Boston's fourth-best single-game scoring output (51 points vs. Detroit Pistons on October 29, 1965).[3]

Jones recorded 22 points and 5 rebounds in Game 7 of the 1966 NBA Finals as they won their eighth straight NBA Finals.[4]

Player Profile[edit]

Jones played all of his 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association NBA with the Celtics. He was known as a clutch scorer, with more than 15,000 points in his career. He participated in five All-Star Games, and is usually recognized as one of the best shooting guards of his generation.

Jones was named to the All-NBA Second Team three straight years (1965–67) and he played on 10 championship teams (1959–66 and 1968–69) — a total exceeded only by teammate Bill Russell in NBA history.

Jones’ perfect form when shooting a jump shot, along with his great clutch shooting, led opponents to nickname him "The Shooter." He was particularly adept shooting the bank shot, in which the shooter bounces the ball off the backboard en route to the basket. Many coaches, including UCLA's great John Wooden, believe that when a shooter is at a 20- to 50-degree angle to the backboard and inside 15 feet, a bank shot is always the preferred shot. At 6-foot-4, Jones was the prototype of the tall guard who could run the floor, bang the boards and had a rangy offensive game that gave opponents fits. One of the "Jones Boys" in Boston, Sam teamed with K. C. Jones in the Celtics' backcourt to create havoc in NBA arenas around the country.

He led Boston in scoring in the 1962–63 NBA season (19.7 points per game), 1964–65 NBA season (25.9) and 1965–66 NBA season (23.5). He produced four consecutive seasons averaging 20 points or better (1965–68). He scored 2,909 points in 154 playoff games (18.9 ppg), 26th best in history.

Honors[edit]

In 1962, Jones was inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame.[5] 1969, Jones was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame – the first African-American thus honored. Jones was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. In 1970 he was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team, and in 1996, he was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Inducted into the American Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Personal life[edit]

After retiring from basketball, Jones coached at Federal City College from 1969–73 and at North Carolina Central University, his alma mater, in 1973–74. He was an assistant coach for the New Orleans Jazz in 1974–75.[6]

Jones became a substitute teacher for a time in Montgomery County, MD where he had a tremendous impact on many students.

Jones is retired and resides in St. Augustine, Florida. In 2013, he gave an inspirational talk to players for North Carolina Central after the Eagles played a game in Florida.

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 †  Won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1957–58 Boston 56 10.6 .429 .714 2.9 0.7 4.6
1958–59 Boston 71 20.6 .434 .770 6.0 1.4 10.7
1959–60 Boston 74 20.4 .454 .764 5.1 1.7 11.9
1960–61 Boston 78 26.0 .449 .787 5.4 2.8 15.0
1961–62 Boston 78 30.6 .464 .818 5.9 3.0 18.4
1962–63 Boston 76 30.6 .476 .793 5.2 3.2 19.7
1963–64 Boston 76 31.3 .450 .783 4.6 2.7 19.4
1964–65 Boston 80 36.1 .452 .820 5.1 2.8 25.9
1965–66 Boston 67 32.2 .469 .799 5.2 3.2 23.5
1966–67 Boston 72 32.3 .454 .857 4.7 3.0 22.1
1967–68 Boston 73 33.0 .461 .827 4.9 3.0 21.3
1968–69 Boston 70 26.0 .450 .783 3.8 2.6 16.3
Career 871 27.9 .456 .803 4.9 2.5 17.7

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP MPG FG% FT% RPG APG PPG
1958 Boston 8 9.4 .455 .688 3.0 0.5 3.9
1959 Boston 11 17.5 .370 .846 5.7 1.5 10.3
1960 Boston 13 15.2 .385 .810 3.2 1.4 8.2
1961 Boston 10 25.8 .446 .886 5.4 2.2 13.1
1962 Boston 14 36.0 .444 .700 7.1 3.1 20.6
1963 Boston 13 34.6 .484 .831 6.2 2.5 23.8
1964 Boston 10 35.6 .506 .735 4.7 2.3 23.2
1965 Boston 12 41.3 .459 .869 4.6 2.5 28.6
1966 Boston 17 35.4 .449 .838 5.1 3.1 24.8
1967 Boston 9 36.2 .459 .862 5.1 3.1 26.7
1968 Boston 19 36.1 .441 .786 3.4 2.6 20.5
1969 Boston 18 28.6 .419 .797 3.2 2.1 16.8
Career 154 30.2 .447 .811 4.7 2.3 18.9

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ JONES, SAMUEL "SAM" • 123
  2. ^ "Boston Celtics at Syracuse Nationals Box Score, December 1, 1957". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  3. ^ "Celtics History: Individual Scoring Highs". Retrieved October 7, 2007.
  4. ^ "Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics Box Score, April 28, 1966". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  5. ^ NBA Register: 1986-87 Edition. The Sporting News Publishing Company. 1986. p. 324. ISBN 9780892042272.
  6. ^ JONES, SAMUEL "SAM" • 183

External links[edit]