Chris Ford was a legendary American basketball player and coach who played professionally in the NBA. On October 12, 1979, Chris Ford made history by sinking the first counted three-point shot in NBA history. The head coach’s death at age 74 has been verified.
When Chris Ford was on the court, he was wearing a Celtics jersey. Christopher Ford passed away on January 17, 2023. He had heart failure and passed away. His family released a statement that says;
People who knew and worked with Chris adored him. He deeply cared for his loved ones, his hometown of Boston, his adoring fans, and his Celtics teammates. “He treated everyone who was lucky enough to cross his path with the utmost humility and respect.”
“Chris Ford’s career spanned over a decade of Celtics basketball, and he left his impact at every turn,” read a statement from the team.
Doc, as he was affectionately called by his teammates, was a solid, all-around guard who could play in a variety of positions. To the Ford family and their many friends, the Boston Celtics extend their heartfelt condolences.
Ford, a native of nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey, led Villanova to the 1970 NCAA Elite Eight and the 1971 NCAA Final Four. Over the course of three years with the Wildcats, he scored 1,433 points and set several school records, including a single-season record of 238 assists in 1970–1971.
Jay Wright, a former coach at Villanova, tweeted a photo of Ford wearing the uniform of his former team, the Kentucky Wildcats, and referred to Ford as his “boyhood idol.”
An intriguing “creative, talented, tough” (Villanova) guard, according to the advertisement. When I knew him, he was a fantastic man, a devoted friend, and a fervent alumnus of (Villanova). He was more of an idol to me than a friend. Chris has a lot of admirers at VU. It was nice chatting with you; I hope we can reconnect sometime.
In 1972, Ford was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA draught. Prior to being moved to the Celtics, he played there for six seasons.
In his debut season with the Celtics, 1978–1979, he set career highs in scoring (15.6) and passing (4.7) per game. In the first quarter of Boston’s season-opening triumph over the Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979, he made the first 3-point shot in NBA history.
Ford took over for Jimmy Rodgers as Celtics coach and lasted through the 1994-1995 season.
He led Boston to a 222-188 record and four postseason appearances, but his teams were eliminated in the first round each time.
The Milwaukee Bucks (1996-1998) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1998-2000) each employed Ford as their head coach for two years (1998-2000). After Randy Ayers was let go as Philadelphia 76ers head coach in March of 2004, he took over the reins for the last 30 games of the season.
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Like Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn before him, he is one of only four former Celtics to win titles as both a player and coach.
According to a statement released by the Celtics, “Chris Ford’s career spanned over a decade of Celtics basketball, and he left his imprint at every turn” both as a player and coach.
“Doc,” as his teammates fondly called him, “was a fundamentally versatile all-around guard… The whole Boston Celtics organization is saddened by the loss of Ford and wants to express its condolences to his loved ones.
Ford, who was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was drafted by the Detroit Pistons from Villanova University. Before being moved to the Celtics, he stayed there for six years. In his debut season with the Celtics, he scored 15.6 points per game and dished out 4.7 assists, both career highs.
On the opening night of the next season, October 12, 1979, he made history by making the first-ever 3-point shot in an NBA game, helping the Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets.
Ford took over as Celtics coach after Jimmy Rodgers’ departure and coached the team for five seasons (1990–1995). As Boston’s head coach, he oversaw a 222-188 record and four trips to the playoffs, although his teams never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Ford previously served as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks (1996-1998) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1998-2000). (1998-2000). The Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach who oversaw the team’s last 30 games in 2003–04 when Randy Ayers was let go was promoted to head coach.