Sam Jones: Basketball Royalty

Nick GelsoCorrespondent IMay 15, 2009

Every family has some one who is often taken for granted. Perhaps its the brother-in-law that always brings a case of beer to the family cookout. Because of that soon enough we stop bringing our own beer expecting that case to have already been delivered.

It's not that we love that relative any less or lack gratitude for their selfless ways, it's just human nature.

It was fantastic to see legendary Celtics guard Sam Jones in attendance for game four in Orlando Sunday night. 
I was surprised when I read on that Jones said he has only been back to Boston twice since retiring in 1969. "I came back for Red," Jones said. "I never go any place unless I am invited and I haven't been invited." 
The current ownership group is especially inclusive with Celtics legends. They certainly realize that these former champions are the bridge that connects the current players with the Dynasty Years of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. They are the keepers of Celtics Pride and standard bearers for all future teams have been measured against.
Sam Jones has been ingrained into our visuals of the old Celtics Dynasty. We all have seen the clips of the "Old Celtics" bruised, battered and taped up, in the line up of the 69' Finals.
We have all heard the stories of Jones bringing the Lakers celebration schedule back to Bill Russell, inspiring the Celtics to win that game. 
Sam Jones, one way or another, has been a part of every aspect of the "Old Celtics" lore and mystique. He is featured in nearly every Celtics Dynasty documentary and he is everything we have come to expect a Celtic to be. He self admittedly "bleeds green" and still roots for the Celtics.
Big Baby's game winner was nothing new to Sam. True Celtics fans will never forget the highlight of Sam Jones running the picket fence and, of course, banking in the game winner against the Lakers while Johnny Most yelled "it's good!"
Sam's number hangs high above the parquet floor that he helped to make famous. 
That is why it was so surprising to me that he hadn't been "invited" back to Boston. It was nice to hear that managing partner Bob Epstien and Coach Doc Rivers spent some time with Sam prior to Game 4's tip-off. Epstein pledged to "bring him back into the teams family."
Perhaps we have all taken for granted that Jones would need an invite to attend a game on a court that he helped to make famous, in an arena with 17 Championship Banners. 
10 of which he helped to hoist. 
Sam Jones, ever the humble man, will never come if "not invited". A rare spotting of KC Jones occurred in Boston for game two. I hope to see more of KC in attendance and maybe the other half of the "Jones Brothers" will be seated by his side from time to time. 
An invite is certainly not necessary but, it would be an honor to have you in attendance Mr. Jones.