The Boston Celtics great and Hall of Famer Sam Jones has passed away at the age of 88, according to the Celtics and his son.
Jones died on Thursday night, according to his son Aubre, who said his father’s health had been failing and he was admitted to a hospital in Boca Raton, Florida, on Christmas night.
Jones, a guard who played his entire 12-year NBA career with the Celtics and won 10 titles with the team, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984.
“Sam Jones was one of the most talented, versatile, and clutch shooters for the most successful and dominant teams in NBA history,” a Friday statement from the Celtics stated. “His scoring ability was so prolific, and his form so pure, that he earned the simple nickname, ‘The Shooter.’ He was also known as ‘Mr. Clutch.’
“… Only Bill Russell won more championships in his NBA career. 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.”
Jones was named as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players earlier this year.
Ahead of the Celtics’ afternoon game against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Jones was remembered with a moment of silence.
The team retired Jones’ famed No. 24 jersey in 1969.
“Many people knew my Dad as a Hall-of-Fame player for the Boston Celtics, but my Dad was a Hall-of-Fame person off the court and a great Dad and Great Grandfather,” Aubre Jones wrote in an email to CNN.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver honored Jones in a statement, saying in part, “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.”