Jim Loscutoff, a brawny, tough-rebounding forward for the Boston Celtics who played on seven National Basketball Association championship teams in the 1950s and 1960s, died Dec. 1 in Burlington, Mass. He was 85.
The Boston Globe reported that he had Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia.
Mr. Loscutoff, who was nicknamed “Jungle Jim” and “Loscy,” joined the Celtics in 1955 out of the University of Oregon. He played all nine of his NBA seasons with Boston under Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach. In seven of those years, the Celtics, led by Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn and other stars, were the NBA champions.
The Celtics’ long dynasty began with their first NBA title in 1957, when Mr. Loscutoff sank two free throws at the end of the second overtime to defeat the St. Louis Hawks, 125-123.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Mr. Loscutoff was a part-time player for most of his career and would be considered a power forward in the modern game. He was a fun-loving player popular with his teammates, but he was even better known as a sharp-elbowed presence under the boards.
“I’ll tell you what type of player I was,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1985. “If somebody stood in my way, I’d knock them down. Even if they didn’t stand in my way, but if they were bothering another player, they’d have to deal with me.”
He had his best season in 1956-1957, when he averaged 10.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Throughout his career, he averaged 6.2 points and 5.6 rebounds a game.
James Loscutoff Jr. was born Feb. 4, 1930, in San Francisco and grew up in Palo Alto, Calif. He served three years in the military before completing his collegiate career at Oregon. He still holds the school record for most rebounds in a game, with 32.
After retiring from the Celtics in 1964, Mr. Loscutoff and his wife opened a children’s day camp in Andover, Mass. He also coached for 12 years at Boston State College — which later merged with UMass Boston — where his teams compiled a record of 219-93.
Survivors include his wife, Lynn Leon Loscutoff, an artist who wrote a book about the wives and other women associated with the Boston Celtics; three children; and seven grandchildren.
Mr. Loscutoff’s No. 18 uniform was later worn by other Celtics players, including Dave Cowens. After the Celtics retired No. 18 in honor of Cowens in 1981, they gave Mr. Loscutoff an unprecedented tribute: They retired his nickname. Today, a jersey with the name “Loscy” hangs from the rafters of Boston Garden.