Boston’s Chris Ford (42), left, defends against Houston’s Mike Dunleavy during a playoff game on April 12, 1980 in Boston. Ford, a member of the Boston Celtics 1981 championship team, a longtime NBA coach and the player, has died, his family announced. He was 74. Joan Rathe/Associated Press

BOSTON — The Celtics announced on Wednesday that former player and Coach Chris Ford — who won three championships with the franchise — has died. He was 74.

“Chris was beloved by his family, friends, and teammates,” the Ford 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.”

According to The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey, Ford died Tuesday at a Philadelphia hospital after suffering a heart attack earlier this month.

Ford, drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1974 after a standout career at Villanova, was traded to the Celtics before the 1978 season, which began a stretch of more than a decade with the franchise. Ford was credited with the first made 3-pointer in NBA history in the Celtics’ game against the Rockets on Oct. 12, 1979, which was also Larry Bird’s debut.

Ford spent four seasons as a Celtics player — averaging 10.3 points and 3.3 assists per game — and was a starter on the 1981 championship team. He retired after the 1981-82 season and became an assistant coach with the Celtics, and he helped guide them to championships in 1984 and 1986.

Ford became the head coach of the Celtics in 1990 for the tail end of the Big Three era of Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. He finished with a record of 228-188 with two Atlantic Division titles and four playoff appearances in five seasons as the Celtics’ head coach.

Ford also had NBA coaching stints with the Bucks, Clippers and 76ers. He was the head coach of Brandeis — a Division 3 school in Waltham — for two seasons from 2001-03.

“As a player and coach, Chris Ford’s career spanned over a decade of Celtics basketball, and he made his mark every step of the way,” the Celtics said in a statement. “He was a member of three NBA World Championship Boston Celtics teams, one as a key player on the 1981 Champions, and subsequently as an assistant coach for the 1984 and 1986 champs. 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. ‘Doc,’ as he was affectionately known by his teammates, was a fundamentally versatile all-around guard.

“He was voted the team’s MVP in his first season with the Celtics, and he is famously credited with scoring the NBA’s first 3-point basket. Ford joined an elite group of Celtics’ personnel (Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, and K.C. Jones) who have earned championship rings as both a player and coach with the organization. The Boston Celtics sends their deepest sympathies to the Ford family and their many friends.”

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