Chris Ford, who used to coach the Boston Celtics and play in the NBA, has died. He was 74. On Wednesday, Ford’s family told the world that he had died the day before.
In a statement shared through the NBA’s website, they said: “The Ford family is sad to announce the passing of Chris on January 17, 2023. 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.”
Even though there was no official cause of death, The Press of Atlantic City said that Ford had a heart attack earlier this month. After Ford’s family released a statement about his death, the Celtics shared a Twitter thread that talked about his sports career and time with the team. They said that his teammates called him “Doc” and that he played “over a decade of Celtics basketball.”
Larry Bird shares his thoughts on the news of Chris Ford’s passing. pic.twitter.com/oV9xFI3MNu
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 18, 2023
“Ford went on to become the team’s eleventh head coach, leading his former teammates Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish to multiple playoff appearances in the trio’s final days together,” the post read.
Before he joined the “elite group of Celtics’ personnel who have won championship rings as both a player and a coach with the organisation,” he started his NBA career as a guard for the Detroit Pistons in 1972.
After being traded to the Celtics during the 1978-79 season, the Detroit Free Press says he made the first three-point shot in NBA history in the first quarter of Boston’s win over the Houston Rockets on Oct. 12, 1979.
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During that season, he was chosen as the team’s most valuable player (MVP). He went on to be a key player on the 1981 NBA World Champion Boston Celtics team and then an assistant coach for the 1984 and 1986 NBA World Champions.
After the news of his death spread, NBA legend Larry Bird said that Ford was a “important part” of the Celtics team. “Chris was such an important part of our success, as a teammate, Coach and friend. My thoughts and condolences are with the Ford family,” Bird, 66, said in a statement.
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