NBA champion and former coach Chris Ford -- credited with making the first three-point basket in league history -- has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 74 years old.
"Chris was beloved by his family, friends, and teammates," his family said in a statement. "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."
The C's also addressed Ford's passing ... saying, "The Boston Celtics sends their deepest sympathies to the Ford family and their many friends."
The Pistons selected Chris in the second round of the 1972 NBA draft ... and he spent his first seven seasons with Detroit before joining the Celtics.
Chris played the final four years of his career with Boston ... and was a vital member of the 1981 team that won a championship over the Houston Rockets.
Ford won two more NBA titles with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986 as an assistant coach ... and became the eleventh head coach in franchise history in 1990.
As head coach, Ford led his former teammates Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale to the playoffs several times.