On this day: Sam Jones’ jersey retired; Cs 1st team to win 60 games; Clyde Lovellette passes
On this day in Boston Celtics history, Hall of Fame Celtics shooting guard Sam Jones had his jersey number raised up to the rafters of the old Boston Garden in honor of his iconic career in Boston as one of the winningest players ever to play the sport of basketball professionally.
A 10-time champion at his retirement — a feat only bested by friend and teammate Bill Russell with 11 titles as a player — Jones had his No. 24 jersey forever taken out of circulation in respect for “The Shooter” (as Jones was called as a nickname). Ironically drafted by the (then) Minneapolis Lakers (later, Los Angeles), the Wilmington, North Carolina native would instead return to college for another year, and would be picked up by Red Auerbach and the Celtics with the eighth overall selection of the 1957 NBA draft.
He was also the franchise career-scoring leader at the time of his retirement.
It was also on this date that the Celtics became the first team in league history to win 60 games in a single season with a 148-128 home blowout of the New York Knicks in 1960.
Forward Tommy Heinsohn led the Celtics with 21 points and 8 rebounds, and big man Bill Russell added 20 points and 25 boards.
Clyde Lovellette, six-foot, nine-inch U.S. basketball star, right, and Russia’s scoring ace Otar (The Pointmaker) Korkilia, left, entice smile from little Finnish girl who holds ice cream cone at Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 2, 1952. The athletes had just competed competition in the U.S.-Russia Olympic basketball final, won by the U.S. 36 to 25. East holds Olympic medals and flowers presented to them by Olympic officials. (AP Photo)
It is also the date that former Celtics center Clyde Lovellette left us in 2016.
Born on September 7, 1929, in Petersburg, Indiana, Lovellette played for Kansas at the NCAA level before he was drafted by the Lakers 10th overall in 1952.
He’d play stints with that team, the (then) Cincinnati Royals (now, Sacramento Kings), and (then) St. Louis (now, Atlanta) Hawks before his contract was sold to Boston.
Lovellette averaged 6.6 points and 2 rebounds per game as a Celtic — rest in peace.
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