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Former Celtics Player and Coach Chris Ford, Who Made First 3-Pointer, Dies at 74

Former C’s player and coach Chris Ford, who made first 3-pointer, dies at 74 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Former Boston Celtics player and coach Chris Ford died Tuesday at age 74.

“The Ford family is sad to announce the passing of Chris on January 17, 2023,” the family said in a press release. “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 played college basketball at Villanova before embarking on a 11-year NBA career. He was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Celtics early in the 1978-79 season and played in Boston through the 1981-82 season.

Ford averaged 10.3 points per game and 45.6 percent shooting in 309 career regular season games with the Celtics. He also was a member of the Celtics team that defeated the Houston Rockets in the 1981 NBA Finals for the franchise’s 14th championship. 

The NBA first used a 3-point line in the 1979-80 season, and Ford became the first player ever to hit a shot from that distance during the Celtics’ Opening Night matchup versus the Rockets.

After retiring, Ford joined K.C. Jones’ coaching staff in Boston. He was an assistant coach with the Celtics from 1983 through 1990 and won two more championships (1983-84 and 1985-86). He took over as Celtics head coach in 1990-91 and served in that role through the 1994-95 season. Ford also spent time as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers (interim) before retiring from coaching in the 2000s.

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