Chris Ford, who was the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach for two seasons in the 90’s, on January 17 passed away at the age of 74.
Chris Ford spent three decades in the NBA as player and coach
Ford, who played collegiately at Villanova, spent 10 years in the NBA as a player, eight seasons as an assistant coach in the league, and nine seasons as a head coach for four different teams.
He was a player on the 1981 Boston Celtics championship team. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round with the 17th overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft.
Here are 10 stats you may not know about Ford’s career in the NBA.
Ford made the first three-point shot in NBA history
One: He made the first three-point shot in NBA history on October 12, 1979.
Two: Ford played six full seasons with the Pistons (plus three games in a seventh season) where he averaged 8.5 points per game. He was traded to the Boston Celtics on October 19, 1978, with a 1981 second-round draft pick for Boston’s Earl Tatum (who played at Marquette).
Three: In four seasons with the Celtics, Ford averaged 10.3 points per game. His career high in points was 34 which he scored in Boston’s 103-102 win over Golden State on January 28, 1979.
Four: Ford in his junior year at Villanova played in the 1971 NCAA Championship Game losing to UCLA and legendary coach John Wooden.
Five: After retiring after the 1981-82 season, he began his coaching career in Boston in 1983 as an assistant for K.C. Jones. He was an assistant for two title teams, 1984 and 1986.
Six: Ford was the head coach of the Celtics for five seasons, 1990-91 to 1994-95. The team had three winning seasons and advanced to the playoffs in four of those five years. The furthest the Celts advanced in the playoffs with Ford at the helm was losses n the conference semifinals in 1991 and 1992.
Chris Ford replaced Mike Dunleavy as Bucks’ head coach in 1996
Seven: Chris Ford was named head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks on June 15, 1996. He replaced Mike Dunleavy as Bucks head coach. That first season in Milwaukee, Ford’s Bucks were 33-49 (.402).
Eight: After a 36-46 record (.439) in his second season, Ford was fired as Bucks head coach on August 26, 1998. George Karl replaced Ford. He ended his Bucks’ coaching career with 69 wins, which is now 10th among the 15 Bucks’ head coaches.
Nine: After his two-year stint with Milwaukee, Ford was head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers for two seasons, 1998-99 and 1999-2000. His last head coaching gig was in the 2003-04 season when he was interim coach for the Philadelphia 76ers for 30 games going 12-18.
Ten: Ford ended his NBA coaching career with a 323-376 record. The 323 wins as a coach ranks 67th of 346 NBA head coaches.
Ford was in the movie “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh”
Ford’s Wikipedia page notes that he in 1979 appeared along five other Detroit Pistons teammates in the cult classic basketball movie, “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh” starring Julius Erving.
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