Sam Jones, an NBA Hall of Fame icon whose long career included 10 championship wins with the Boston Celtics, has died. He was 88 years old.
Jones died Thursday night in Florida, where he had been hospitalized in failing health, Celtics spokesperson Jeff Twiss confirmed to ESPN.
"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."
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Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, Jones played all 12 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics.
"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.
“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 retired from basketball in 1969 at the age of 36. After retiring, he became a substitute teacher in Maryland where he taught for more than 30 years.