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Player quits Rams to join Celtics, September 3, 1958

September 3, 2008 |  5:42 am


1958_september_03_sportsBy Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

K.C. Jones could have been a Ram.

The Hall of Fame guard with the Boston Celtics tried pro football during 1958 but apparently decided to stay a one-sport athlete. Jones played defensive halfback and apparently had a shot at the NFL. The Times' Cal Whorton wrote that  Jones "in the minds of many camp followers stood an excellent chance of being among the 35 players to make the squad."

Jones was an all-city high school football player in San Francisco and had been drafted in the 30th round by the Rams. He attended the University of San Francisco and played with his future Boston teammate, Bill Russell, on NCAA championship basketball teams in 1955 and '56. He also won a gold medal with Russell on the U.S. basketball team in 1956.

"Jones' decision was entirely his own," Rams general manager Pete Rozelle told Whorton. "We're still keeping him on our reserve list in case he doesn't make the grade with the Celtics and decides he wants to rejoin us next season."

Looks like Jones made the right call, having won NBA titles as a player and a coach. He also was an assistant coach for another former Celtic, Bill Sharman, on the Lakers' 1971-72 championship team.