Jim Loscutoff, who won seven NBA championships with the Celtics between 1957 and 1964, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 85 from complications from pneumonia. He also suffered from Parkinson's disease.
Boston drafted Loscutoff with the third overall pick in the 1955 draft out of Oregon, and he would play his entire 10-year NBA career with the Celtics. Although he was often overshadowed by Hall of Famers Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey, Bill Russell and Bill Sharman, "Jungle Jim" was one of the Celtics' most important players on defense.
He helped the legendary Boston roster to the 1957 championship, followed by six straight from 1959 to 1964, his final pro season.When the Celtics wanted to retire Loscutoff's number 18 in 1973, he asked that they honor him by letting future players use it, so the team instead raised a banner reading "Loscy" to the Garden rafters (18 would be retired in 1981 for Dave Cowens).
The Celtics released a statement on Wednesday morning expressing their sadness and condolences to Loscutoff's family, and highlighting his work with Camp Evergreen, a day camp for children Loscutoff and his wife founded in 1964 in Andover, Mass.