Boston Celtics’ legend KC Jones died at the age of 88, prior to the team’s Christmas game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics announced on Friday.

Hall of Famer Jones won a total of 11 championships with the Celtics, eight as a player in the 1950s and 60s, and three more as a coach in the 80s.

Taking to Twitter after receiving the sad news, Celtics’ Hall of Famer legend Bill Russell said: “I just received a call letting me know my x-roommate/teammate & most of all friend the great KC Jones passed this morning. Prayers to his family. We have been friends for almost 60yrs, this our last photo together. Friends for life!”

As quoted on the Celtics’ official website, Celtics’ President of basketball operations Danny Ainge also expressed his thoughts before the tip-off.

“K.C. was a great coach to play for,” said Ainge, who spent five years as a player under Jones management.

“He was a class act, and everybody knew that. And yet he had a competitive edge that was fierce. And so you wanted to do all you could to please K.C. as a coach, but he had this gentleness and a kindness that at the right time he knew what to say. But he was a great leader of men.”

Jones’ jersey, No. 25, was retired by the Celtics in 1967.

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