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Former Boston Celtics player and coach Chris Ford, who made the first 3-pointer in the NBA, dies at 74

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former NBA champion Player and coach Chris Ford, who rose to prominence during his time with the Boston Celtics, has died at the age of 74, his family announced.

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According to the family, Ford passed away on Tuesday. His family released a statement reflecting on Ford’s appreciation for Celtics and Boston Society.

“Chris was loved by his family, friends and teammates. He loved his family, the city of Boston, the fans and the entire Celtics family,” the family statement said. “He always showed humility and respect to all those who were lucky enough to be a part of his life.”

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Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics during a 1982 game at Boston Garden in Boston.
(Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ford played for the Celtics from 1978-1982 and won a title with the team in 1981.

“As a player and coach, Chris Ford’s basketball career spanned more than ten years for the Celtics, and he made his mark every step of the way,” the team said in a statement. “‘Doc’, as he was affectionately known by his teammates, was an essentially versatile all-around guard. … The Boston Celtics send their deepest sympathies to the Ford family and their many friends.”

After Ford retired, he moved into coaching and served as an assistant coach for Boston for seven seasons. He helped guide the Celtics to championships in 1984 and 1986 during his stint as an assistant coach under head coach KC Jones.

In 1990, Ford was named head coach of the Celtics, a position he held until 1995.

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Three former Celtics players have won championships as a player and coach – Bill Russell, Tom Henson, and Jones.

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Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics leads to the basket against Darwin Cook of the New Jersey Nets during a game played in 1981 at Boston Garden in Boston.

Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics leads to the basket against Darwin Cook of the New Jersey Nets during a game played in 1981 at Boston Garden in Boston.
(Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ford toys college basketball at Villanova and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1972.

after six seasons, pistons Ford traded to Boston. He averaged 15.6 points and 4.7 assists per game his first season with the Celtics in 1978-79.

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Ford opened the next season on October 12, 1979, with the first 3-point shot in NBA history in a game against the Houston Rockets.

Head coach Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics coaches during an NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on April 18, 1991.
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Head coach Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics coaches during an NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on April 18, 1991.
(Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios / Getty Images)

He compiled a 222-188 record with four playoff appearances as Boston coach, but his teams never advanced past the Conference Finals.

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Ford had a couple of two-year head coaching stints with Milwaukee Bucks from 1996-1998 and the Los Angeles Clippers from 1998-2000. He also served as the interim coach for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2003-04 season.

The cause of Ford’s death was not immediately known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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