K.C. Jones (Celtic Pride): He Never Cried Foul by Harold Bell


“K. C. Jones, was a great coach to play for. He was a class act, and everybody knew that, and yet he had a competitive edge that was fierce. You wanted to do all you could to please KC as a coach. He had this gentleness and kindness that at the right time he knew what to say. He was a great leader of men.”        –Danny Ainge

Kudos to Danny Ainge, he got it right. K. C. Jones got a bad and rotten deal here with the Washington Bullets in 1975. A red hot Golden State Warrior team led by Coach Al Attles swept the Bullets in 4 games to win the NBA championship. The meeting between these two tuff guys was historical, it marked the first time in NBA history two black coaches had met in a NBA Final.

K. C. was sold out by his assistant Bernie Bickerstaff and several players who were looking to blame anyone but themselves. Bernie was telling people including NBA referees around the league he was responsible for the Bullets’ winning season, but when they lost to the Warriors he pointed his finger at K. C. Bernie was the worst kind of backstabber, K. C. gave him his first NBA job without any NBA player or coaching experience. K. C. Jones’ problem, he trusted folks around him, he was a winner. He was a confident man, as a high school athlete, college All-American and on to the NBA Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the NFL as a defensive back. He had not played the position since high school. He never saw a wide receiver, shooting guard, college or pro he could not check! He chose the NBA, lucky for Jerry Rice.

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