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Samuel “Mr.Clutch” Jones
Samuel Jones (born June 24, 1933, in Wilmington, North Carolina). He was known for his quickness and game-saving shots, especially during the NBA Playoffs. He has the most NBA championship rings as a player (10) next to Bill Russell.
Jones graduated from North Carolina Central University after a spectacular career there. He scored 1,770 points playing for Hall of Fame coach John McLendon. He was a 4-year letter winner and was a 3-time All-Conference team. He spent all of his twelve seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics who drafted him in the first round in 1957. Jones was known as a clutch scorer, and scored over 15,000 points in his career. He participated in five All-Star Games, and is usually recognized as one of the best shooting guards of his generation carving a reputation as one of the greatest clutch shooters — and winners — that the league has ever seen.
Jones was named to the All-NBA Second Team three straight years (1965–67) and he played on ten championship teams (1959-66 and 1968-69) — a total exceeded only by teammate Bill Russell in NBA history. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. He was 6-foot-4 and weighed 200 lbs.
Jones was originally claimed by the Minneapolis Lakers, but returned to college upon completion of military service, and therefore voided NBA rules.
Jones’ perfect form when shooting a jump shot, along with his great clutch shooting led opponents to nickname him “The Shooter”and “Mr. Clutch”. He was particularly adept shooting the bank shot, where the shooter bounces the ball off the backboard en route to the basket. Many coaches including UCLA’s great John Wooden believe that when a shooter is at a 20 – 50 degree angle to the backboard and inside of 15 feet, a bank shot is always the preferred shot. At 6-foot-4, Jones was the prototype of the tall guard who could run the floor, bang the boards and had a rangy offensive game that gave opponents fits. One of the “Jones Boys” in Boston, Sam teamed with K. C. Jones in the Celtics’ back court to create havoc in NBA arenas around the country.
His longtime coach, Red Auerbach, was one of his greatest fans. Jones’s special attributes as a player, Auerbach once explained, were his speed, touch, reflexes, and attitude. But there was another quality that made him a standout: dedication. “He’ll do anything you ask him,” said Auerbach. “He’s always in shape and ready to play, and nobody works any harder at basketball than he does.”
He led Boston in scoring in the 1962-63 NBA season (19.7 points per game), 1964-65 NBA season (25.9) and 1965-66 NBA season (23.5). He produced four consecutive seasons averaging 20 points or better (1965–68). He owns Boston’s fourth best single-game scoring output (51 points vs. Detroit Pistons on October 29, 1965). He scored 2,909 points in 154 playoff games (18.9 ppg), 15th best in history. In 1996 he was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
In a recent interview when asked what he does with his time now that he is retired Sam replied, “play golf three, four times a week, some of the nicest courses in the country. But I’m still lousy.”
Sam Jones is an NBA Legend and an Original Tee “True Original.”