Chris Ford, a member of the Boston Celtics’ 1981 championship team, a longtime NBA coach and the player credited with scoring the league’s first 3-point basket, has died, his family announced in a statement. He was 74.
Ford played 10 seasons in the league between 1973 and 1982, averaging 9.2 points per game with the Pistons and Celtics. In addition to his shooting prowess, Ford averaged 1.6 steals per game to rank 60th in NBA history, and won a title with Boston in 1981.
Upon his retirement as a player, Ford embarked on a lengthy and accomplished coaching career. He won titles as a Celtics assistant in 1984 and ’86, and made four postseason appearances as their head coach. He also coached the Bucks for two seasons and the Clippers for two seasons before finishing his coaching career with the 76ers in 2004.
Chris Ford, Larry Bird, M.L. Carr, Gerald Henderson, and Cedric Maxwell celebrating victory. Photo courtsey of Frank O’Brien/Globe Staff