Chris Ford, NBA’s first 3-pointer, dies at 74

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Chris Ford (R) talks to player Tyron Nasby during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 10, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA.

Chris Ford (R) during his tenure as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. AFP Photo by Vince Bucci

Former Boston Celtics head coach Chris Ford died on Tuesday at the age of 74.

After seven seasons and two NBA championships as an assistant coach with Boston, Ford took the reins from 1990-95 and led the Celtics to four playoff berths in five seasons.

As a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Ford played 10 seasons with the Detroit Pistons (1972-78) and Celtics (1978-82). He made the first 3-point field goal in NBA history on October 12, 1979, and won the NBA title with Boston in 1981.

gave The Celtics And the Ford family announced his death on Wednesday.

“The Ford family is saddened to announce the passing of Chris on January 17, 2023. Chris was beloved by his family, friends and teammates. He had an immense love for his family, the city of Boston, the fans and the entire Celtics family. He Always showed humility and respect for all those who were lucky enough to be a part of his life.

Affectionately known as “Doc” by teammates, Ford averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 794 career games.

He compiled a 323-376 coaching record for the Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks (1996-98), Los Angeles Clippers (1998-2000) and Philadelphia 76ers (2003-04).

Born in Atlantic City, NJ, Ford was a prep star at Holy Spirit in Absecon, NJ, before playing his college basketball at Villanova from 1969-72. His Wildcats lost to UCLA in the 1971 national championship game.

The Pistons drafted him in the second round (17th overall) in 1972.

The NBA instituted the 3-point line for the 1979-80 season. Ford knocked down his historic 3-pointer (on his only attempt) in Boston’s season-opening 114–107 win over the Houston Rockets.

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