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Professor Parquet on the underrated Chris Ford

The former Celtic player and coach hit the first 3-pointer in NBA history and won three rings in Boston

By Professor Parquet for
A.k.a. Cort Reynolds

Ford died at age 74 Tuesday of heart failure, the latest in a long line of Celtic champions to perish recently.

Known as a very smart and fundamentally sound player, Ford was the starting off guard for Boston when they won the 1981 NBA title, also against the Rockets. He later served as a Celtic assistant coach for seven seasons and was a key staff member under K.C. Jones on the 1984 and 1986 championship teams.

He took over the reins from Jimmy Rodgers in 1990 and served as Boston head coach in Bird’s final two seasons, posting a fine 107-57 record with one division title.

He later coached the Bucks, the rival 76ers and the Clippers.

Ford’s first season with Boston of 1978-79 was his best statistically. He averaged a career-high 15.6 points and 4.7 assists per game, and shot a solid 47.4 percent from the field. He netted his career-high of 34 points that season in a 103-102 win over Golden State, which had a starting center in that game named Robert Parish (Chief scored 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds). Chris hit 17 of 24 shots from the field in that January 28, 1979 contest.

Of course, that 1979 Celtic team was bad, winning just 29 games in the last pre-Bird season. In an interesting stat, the Celtics would win as many games (a league-best 61) in Bird’s rookie season as they did COMBINED in the previous two seasons of just 32 and 29 victories.