BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Chris Ford, who was a member of three Boston Celtics championship teams as both a player and a coach, died Tuesday at the age of 74.
"The Ford family is sad to announce the passing of Chris on January 17, 2023," the Ford family said in a statement. "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. He always showed humility and respect for all those that were fortunate enough to be a part of his life."
Ford was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1972 and played with them for six seasons before being traded to Boston in 1978. In 1979, he made the first three-pointer in NBA history in the Celtics' season opener against the Houston Rockets.
In 1981, Ford helped the Celtics win the NBA Championship, his first and only title as a player. Following his retirement in 1982, Ford became an assistant coach for the Celtics and won two more titles in 1984 and 1986.
In 1990, Ford took over as Celtics head coach and led the team to two Atlantic Division titles in 1991 and 1992. He coached a total of five seasons in Boston before moving on to coach the Milwaukee Bucks, L.A. Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers. He retired in 2004.
"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 their own statement. "'Doc,' as he was affectionately known by his teammates, was a fundamentally versatile all-around guard. He was voted the team’s MVP in his first season with the Celtics, and he is famously credited with scoring the NBA’s first three-point basket. Ford joined an elite group of Celtics’ personnel (Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, and K.C. Jones) who have earned championship rings as both a player and coach with the organization. The Boston Celtics sends their deepest sympathies to the Ford family and their many friends."