Bill Russell reacts to death of teammate, friend K.C. Jones on Twitter

Justin Quinn
·2 min read

The loss of legendary Boston Celtics point guard and head coach K.C. Jones leaves not only the fans and wider Celtic community with an immeasurable loss fresh on the heel of the death of Tommy Heinsohn, but the entire NBA community and society as whole as well — but few as much as Boston icon Bill Russell.

The two were teammates not just for the unprecedented string of titles they shared across eight of Jones’ nine seasons in the Association as a player, but even before that when the pair were both playing for the University of San Francisco Dons, where they would win back-to-back NCAA titles together.

They would shatter the color barrier together as well — first as players, two-fifths of the first all-Black starting five in NBA history on this very date in 1963, then later as coaches, two of the first four Black head coaches to win a title in the league.

And through the years and their respective orbits bringing them both away from, then back to the Celtics over the course of their careers and lives, they always called one another friend.

For Russell, this one has to hurt.

The Celtic center luminary posted a tribute to his fallen comrade on Twitter Christmas Day, saying,

“I just received a call letting me know my x-roommate/teammate & most of all friend the great KC Jones passed this morning. Prayers to his family. We have been friends for almost 60yrs, this our last photo together.”

“Friends for life,” he closed.

For these two, at least that long — our condolences, Mr. Russell.

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List

WATCH: K.C. Jones - a champion Celtic's career in video

 

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
+170--
Philadelphia
-209--