Who was Chris Ford and how did he die? A look at the life and career of the former Boston Celtics legend

On Wednesday morning, tragic news emerged that former Boston Celtics player and coach Chris Ford had passed away at the age of 74.

He suffered a heart attack earlier this month, according to press reports from Atlantic City, a local dealership in Ford’s hometown.

A statement from his family, released Wednesday through the Atlantic City press, read:

“Chris was loved by his family, his friends, Ducktown, Holy Spirit High School and all of South Jersey. He always showed humility and respect for those lucky enough to be a part of his life.”

Ford played in the NBA for a decade, splitting time between the Detroit Pistons early in his career and the Boston Celtics late in his career. After winning an NBA championship in 1981, Ford took an assistant coaching job after retiring as a player in 1983.

In 1984 and 1986, Ford and the Boston Celtics won NBA championships. After seven years as an assistant coach, the Celtics made him head coach for five years. During that time, he was named the 1991 Eastern Conference All-Star Game head coach.

After five years with the Celtics, Chris Ford coached for the Milwaukee Bucks, the LA Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers, where he coached the young Allen Iverson.


Chris Ford scored the first-ever 3-pointer

Regarded by his peers as one of the genuinely friendliest men the league has ever seen, Ford was a proud native of Atlantic City. Given the many different facets of the game he touched, his loss is undoubtedly a huge loss for the entire basketball community.

In addition to having a long and distinguished career as a player and coach, Chris Ford is known for making the first 3-pointer in NBA history. After the league added the 3-point shot in 1979, Ford put down the first shot ever while playing for the Boston Celtics.

Below is Chris Ford hitting the first 3-pointer in NBA history.

Youtube cover

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