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Sam (Jones) “You MADE THE” SHOTS, (Never “Too Long,” That Mattered Most (Johnny called them) Winning 10 Celtics’ Titles

January 2, 2022

Do any of us realize how great and clutch Sam Jones was as a Boston Celtics’ player?!

Mr. Jones, who died on 2021’s penultimate day, (just over a year after another great “Celtic Jones,” K.C. passed on Christmas Day 2020), was a member of 10 Boston Celtics’ title teams and a great, largely under rated player, far closer to the pantheon of all-time players, than just being a member of the 25, 50 and this year’s 75 anniversary NBA team.

You essentially, (so often it was my Philly and L.A. teams that could not quite do so) could not keep up with the Joneses and the great Bill Russell/Arnold “Red” Auerbach led Celtics, who won an incredible 11 NBA crowns in 13 seasons, including 8 in a row from (1959-1966).

Sam Jones was the man, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot (I read he had 5 of the 10 Celtics’ overtime points in their game 7 win, vs the so often denied L.A. Lakers in the ’62 NBA final and know of so many others first hand).

Yet I do not feel all that bad about them (maybe the one in #4 of the ’69 Final, when after the great Elgin Baylor, who died in 2021 and essentially never won it all, failed to inbound with L.A. up 1 point and (2-1) in the series and that gave Sam and the Celts a chance. Sam did not miss!! The series was even, the Celts won on Sam’s day, an afternoon Wide World of Sports ABC #6 telecast and then 2 days later on Monday night) and told Mr. Jones that, when I interviewed him at a B’nai B’rith sports dinner, in the spring of 1988.

“Yes you do feel bad” Sam “argued” as you ought to. That was competition and also class, as Sam Jones was gracious, friendly and informative as we talked of the great Celtics.

I read about Bob Cousy, alone on New Year’s Eve, taking the call that informed him Sam was gone. He thought of the still alive Tom “Satch” Sanders and the 11 time title winning, Bill Russell.

Alone also, I thought of what these men accomplished, winning and winning and perhaps the winning/bottom line could shed light for the many bigots, still roaming this ravaged earth.

See the Celtics, with a Jewish coach (Auerbach) often had an all Black men starting five to go along with great players, not that it matters, but were white. The team had a great bond and even they, face loneliness and the end. Few do so, having accomplished so much.

Sam epitomized that and in a better place he and his arch rival, Wilt Chamberlain can play again. It was great on earth, though all but one time “my” Wilt teams lost to Dad’s Celtics, and now more for fun (no stools allowed) Sam can shoot, Wilt can choose whether to go out and guard him and I laud Sam Jones’ greatness.

Click to view a nice piece about Sam. Is that real play by play on Sam’s aforementioned game winning shot in #4/’69 NBA final? I hope so but ….

 

 

Sam Jones, Boston Celtics, 1969.jpg

One of the all-time great players/great winners/great clutch players, comparable to one Yogi Berra, Sam Jones pictured above. 

 

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