Thursday, January 19, 2023

Former Celtics player, coach Chris Ford passes away at age of 74

Former Celtics player and coach, Chris Ford passed away Tuesday in Philadelphia at the age of 74. 

A member of the Celtics 1981 championship team roster, a longtime NBA head and assistant coach, Ford was also credited with scoring the league's first ever 3-point basket.

The family released a statement through the Celtics, as Ford suffered a heart attack earlier this month.
"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 retired as a player following the 1981-82 campaign and became an assistant coach for the Celtics for seven seasons from 1983 to 1990, helping former teammates Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish win two more titles in 1984 and 1986 while working under head coach K.C. Jones.

He is one of only four former Celtics to have won championships as both a player and coach, joining Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn and Jones.
"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. Ford joined an elite group of Celtics' personnel 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."
Ford was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1972, where he played for six seasons before being traded to the Celtics. In his first season in Boston, Ford averaged a career-high 15.6 points and 4.7 assists per game during the 1978-79 campaign. He sank the first 3-pointer in NBA history on opening night of the 1979-80 season against the Houston Rockets at the old Boston Garden.

Once Ford took over for Jimmy Rodgers as the Celtics head coach prior to 1990-91 season, he put together a 222-188 record through the end of 1994-95 campaign -- the last year before the Boston Garden was torn down -- compiling four playoff appearances, while ushering out the "Big-3" era.
"Chris was such an important part of our success, as a teammate, coach and friend," Larry Bird said in a statement. "My thoughts and condolences are with the Ford family."
Ford would go on to become the head coach with the Milwaukee Bucks (1996-98) and then the Los Angeles Clippers (1998-2000), before being hired as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the 2003-04 season -- where he took over as interim coach for Randy Ayers in the final 30 games.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment