Chris Ford, who won a championship with the Boston Celtics, coached in the NBA for a decade and was credited for scoring the league’s first 3-point basket, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 74.
Ford’s family announced his death through a statement released by the Celtics on Wednesday.
The Atlantic City, New Jersey, native died at a Philadelphia hospital after suffering a heart attack earlier this month, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
“Chris was beloved by his family, friends and teammates. He had a great love for his family, the city of Boston, the fans, and the entire Celtics family,” the family statement read. “He always showed humility and respect for all those that were fortunate enough to be a part of his life.”
Ford won three titles with the Celtics, once as a player with the 1981 squad and twice as an assistant when Boston won NBA championships in 1984 and 1986, WFXT-TV reported.
He is one of four former Celtics to have won championships as both a player and coach, according to The Associated Press. The others were Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn and K.C. Jones.
“Doc,” as he was known, became the 11th head coach in Celtics history, coaching team to a 222-188 record from 1990 top 1995. He also was the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
“As a player and coach, Chris Ford’s career spanned over a decade of Celtics basketball, and he made his mark every step of the way,” the Celtics said in a statement. “‘Doc,’ as he was affectionately known by his teammates, was a fundamentally versatile all-around guard.
“The Boston Celtics sends their deepest sympathies to the Ford family and their many friends.”
Ford was drafted out of Villanova by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 1972 NBA draft, according to Baskeball-Reference.com. He spent six seasons in Detroit before he was traded to Boston. He averaged a career-high 15.6 points and 4.7 assists per game during his first season in Boston in 1978-79.
Ford made NBA history on Oct. 12, 1979, when he connected for the first 3-point shot during the first quarter of Boston’s win against the Houston Rockets, according to the AP.
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