Before former Celtics legend Sam Jones died in December 2021, he made his appreciation and respect for Warriors star Stephen Curry known.
In 2017, Jones and his former Celtics teammate Bill Russell autographed a basketball. Two years later, while watching a Warriors game with his family, Jones realized whom he wanted that ball to go to. He told his family that if Curry ever won another championship, Curry deserved to have it.
On Thursday at TD Garden, Jones’s family finally had an opportunity to make good on the request.
With the Warriors in town to face the Celtics — their first trip to Boston since winning the 2022 NBA Finals — the Jones family presented Curry with the autographed ball.
“Sam never compared anybody to his Celtics,” said Wally Ray, Jones’s nephew, who presented Curry with the ball.
Also in attendance Thursday were Jones’s son, Ashley, and his daughter-in-law, Mary.
Jones was drafted by the Celtics in 1957, one year after Russell and one year after the team captured its first championship under Red Auerbach.
He played the entirety of his 12-year-career for the Celtics, becoming a star in the greatest dynasty in NBA history. He was named to five All-Star teams and won 10 championships, the second-most of any player behind Russell.
His No. 24 was retired by the Celtics, and in 1984 he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Read more about Sam Jones
- Inside the ‘understated elegance’ of late Celtics great Sam Jones, Hall of Famer and 10-time champion
- Even for a Hall of Famer, Celtics great Sam Jones may have been underrated
- ‘Wait, did you play with Bill Russell?’ The quiet, impactful substitute teaching career of Celtics legend Sam Jones.