Old Celtic K.C. Jones officially was introduced as the Celtics' coach yesterday in the Boston Garden office of boss Red Auerbach and, in the excitement, Jones allowed himself a bit of hyperbole:
"Very happy to be home . . . been associated with the Celtics since I've been black."
Well, maybe, but he and Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to NCAA titles before taking their act to Boston and winning eight NBA titles in Jones' nine years in the back court. Moreover, the "back-home" Jones--evidently he doesn't count the past five seasons as assistant to Russell's decade-removed coaching successors--can draw on head-coaching experience at Brandeis U., ABA San Diego and NBA Washington.
Plus, maybe all the experience of Auerbach. Suspicious Hub observers asked Auerbach if he might now become more involved again, helping Jones and assistant Jimmy Rodgers (retained on multiyear contract). Reply: "You can't project. All I know is that I'll be around."
Auerbach lauded Jones: "a great defensive player and defense is the name of the game. He has compassion, he has knowledge and he can be tough when he has to be" . . .
Old Bullet Kevin Loughery most likely will be introduced in Chicago today as the Bulls' coach. "It's just a formality," Loughery said after meeting with Bulls G.M. Rod Thorn about a three-year contract.
The Atlanta Hawks cleared the way by accepting the Bulls' second-round pick (31st overall) in the June 28 draft for releasing Loughery from his commitment to coach them a third year. Rumored to succeed him in Atlanta: N.Y. Knicks assistant Mike Fratello . . .
San Antonio will let New Jersey negotiate with Coach Stan Albeck. Deal certified by Commissioner Larry O'Brien: if the Nets sign Albeck (and owner Joe Taub said they were close late last night), they will give the Spurs the 46th overall draft choice; some cash, and rights to forward Fred Roberts, who played '82-83 in Europe . . .
In New York, Philadelphia's Moses Malone received his playoff MVP car; in Washington, the 76ers come in for further recognition today, including lunch at the Hart Senate Building; in Seattle, word that SuperSonic David Thompson has checked out of rehabilitation center after 30 days' treatment. Lenny Wilkens, Thompson's coach, noted major improvement on recent visits to the five-time all-star guard.