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Celtics assistant coach quiz

Test your knowledge on Boston’s bench bosses.

Boston Celtics Victory Parade Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

If one wishes to try the harder All-Star edition of the quiz, try to answer the questions without looking at the multiple choice offerings; extra points only apply as possible if the correct answer to the original question is given first.

Layup: which coach served as Bill Fitch’s main assistant in the 1980-81 Celtic title season, then was Boston head coach from 1988-90?

A) K.C. Jones

B) Jimmy Rodgers

Dunk: what defensive guru assistant helped coach Boston to the 2007-08 NBA title, then later coached the Bulls and Timberwolves?

A) Tom Thibodeau

B) Armond Hill

Reverse layup: how many assistant coaches did Red Auerbach have during his 16-year run as Celtic head man?

A) One

B) Zero

Free throw: who was the assistant under Fitch along with Rodgers in the early 1980s?

A) Satch Sanders

B) JoJo White

C) K.C. Jones

Free throw: what ex-Celtic moved from the 1981 championship team to Boston assistant for much of the 1980’s, and then to head coach from 1990-95?

A) M.L. Carr

B) Chris Ford

C) Rick Carlisle

Free throw: who is the only man to win an NBA title with the Celtics as a player, assistant coach and head coach?

A) Chris Ford

B) Satch Sanders

C) K.C. Jones

Free throw: what former Celtic was an assistant for the Celtics under former teammates Chris Ford and M.L. Carr for Boston in the mid 1990s?

A) Jerry Sichting

B) Dennis Johnson

C) Rick Carlisle

Jumper: what Celtic guard was the assistant coach for Bill Sharman as the duo led the 1971-72 Lakers to their first NBA title in Los Angeles?

A) Frank Ramsey

B) K.C. Jones

C) Bob Cousy

D) Larry Siegfried

Jump shot-Who served Tom Heinsohn as assistant coach on the 1974 and 1976 Celtic championship clubs after becoming the first assistant in team history in 1972-73? Bonus: what was his nickname?

A) John Killilea

B) Lanny Van Eman

C) K.C. Jones

D) Satch Sanders

Jump shot: what team did former Celtic assistant K.C. Jones guide to the 1975 NBA Finals?Bonus: what team did he lose to?

A) Seattle

B) Golden State

C) LA Lakers

D) Washington

Jump shot: what ABA team did K.C. Jones serve as an assistant coach in 1972-73? Bonus: what Hall of Famer succeeded him as head coach?

A) Utah

B) San Diego

C) Miami

D) Minnesota

3-pointer: which Celtic Hall of Famer, after facing off against Lakers great Elgin Baylor six times in the Finals in the 1960’s, served alongside him as one of two assistants with the expansion New Orleans Jazz in their first season? Bonus: what year was the season?

A) K.C. Jones

B) Satch Sanders

C) Sam Jones

D) Willie Naulls

E) Frank Ramsey

3-pointer: who was the other assistant along with Chris Ford for the 1989-90 Celtics under Jimmy Rodgers?

A) Kevin Stacom

B) K.C. Jones

C) M.L. Carr

D) Lanny Van Eman

E) Jim Calhoun

3-pointer: who was the other assistant besides K.C. Jones for the Celtics under Tom Sanders (and then player-coach Dave Cowens) during the 1978-79 campaign which saw Boston finish last?

A) Bob MacKinnon

B) Dave Gavitt

C) Sam Jones

D) Don Nelson

E) Paul Silas

3-pointer: what Massachusetts college did K.C. Jones and Chris Ford both serve at one time as head coach?

A) Harvard

B) Brandeis

C) Boston College

D) Boston University

E) Northeastern

34 points is the highest possible score.


Layup: B) Jimmy Rodgers was Fitch’s assistant in Cleveland and at Boston. He then served under K.C. Jones in Boston for five seasons before finally getting his chance. The Knicks tried to hire Rodgers away but Bosoton promised him he would succeed Jones.

Unfortunately for Rodgers, when he finally took over from K.C, his first Celtic team was aging and injured. Boston went just 42-40 after Larry Bird went down for the year with double Achilles surgery just six games into the 1988-89 season.

When the Celtics lost 3-2 in the 1990 first round to the Knicks after blowing a 2-0 lead, Rodgers was fired and replaced by Chris Ford.

Dunk: A) The hard-driving Thibs was the defensive mastermind for Rivers and the 2008 champion Celtics.

Reverse layup: B) 0. Amazingly, Auerbach never had an assistant coach during his nine-title tenure. Thus, he solicited aid from the players. By contrast, Phil Jackson employed up to six assistants on his title teams in Chicago and LA.

Free throw: C) Jones was the other assistant under Fitch along with Jimmy Rodgers.

Free throw: B) Chris Ford was a starting guard on the 1981 Celtics, then was an assistant (1983-90) for the 1984 and 1986 champs. He went 222-188 in five seasons at the helm (13-16 playoffs) with two division titles in his tenure.

Free throw: C) K.C. Jones won eight titles as a Celtic defensive ace, then was an assistant on the 1981 Boston champs. After Fitch was let go in 1983, he then guided Boston to the crown as head coach in 1984 and 1986.

Free throw: B) Dennis Johnson.

Jumper: B) K.C. Jones formed an all-Celtic coaching staff for rival Los Angeles during their record-setting 1971-72 title season. The Lakers won a record 33 straight games and went 69-13 that campaign.

Jump shot: A) John “Killer”* Killilea, who later was Don Nelson’s lead assistant in Milwaukee during the 1980’s.

Jumper: D) Jones guided Washington to the 1975 Finals, where the heavily-favored Bullets were swept by Golden State and Finals MVP Rick Barry. Ironically, K.C. coached the Bullets to the Eastern Conference Finals win over defending champion Boston, 4-2.

Jump shot: B) San Diego. Jones coached the Conquistadors to the playoffs despite a 30-54 record in their first season, but was let go and replaced by Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt was hired by SD as a player-coach but the Lakers still held his player-option and would not allow him to play, so he just coached.

3-pointer: C) Sam Jones was an assistant in the 1974-75 season, the first year of the Jazz franchise, when New Orleans posted a 23-59 record. Scotty Robertson (1-14), Baylor (0-1) and Butch van Breda Kolff (22-44) served as head coaches for the Jazz in that first season. LSU All-American Pete Maravich served as the team’s lone star by averaging 21.5 points and 6.5 assists a game.

3-pointer: D) Lanny Van Eman and Ford were the assistants for Boston in 1989-90. The Celtics posted a 52-30 record to finish second in the Atlantic Division during Larry Bird’s underrated comeback season. But they were upset by the Knicks in the first round as New York snapped a 26-game losing skid at the Garden to upset Boston in the decisive fifth game. Rodgers was then fired.

3-pointer: A) Bob MacKinnon, later a front office executive for the Nets and Clippers, was the other assistant alongside K.C. in 1978-79.

3-pointer: B) Former Celtic players, assistants and head coaches Jones and Ford also were head coach at Brandeis University, a Jewish college in Waltham.

Scoring scale

33-34: 1st ballot Hall of Famer

29-32: Hall of Famer

26-28: Retired Celtic jersey number

23-25: Celtic All-Star

20-22: Celtic starter

18-19: Celtic sixth man

15-17: Celtic second stringer

12-14: 11th man

10-11: 12th man

8-9: 3-man sliding roster

6-7: D leaguer

3-5: D league reserve

0-2: 1st day cut

To message the quizmaster, contact Cort Reynolds at

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