1.04.2017

Ford Gets the Ax



May 18, 1995
Chris Ford's turbulent five-year reign as coach of the Celtics, marred by the death of Reggie Lewis and the retirements of Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, is over. Ford, who struggled to rebuild the team amid repeated setbacks, was fired yesterday after his second straight losing season.

M.L. Carr, the team's director of basketball operations, said he would like to have a successor in place by the June 28 draft. "I'm not going to put a time on," said Carr, a former teammate of Ford with the Celtics. 

Ford, who met with Celtics officials, will hold a news conference today.

The Celtics were 35-47 this season, the only playoff team with a losing record. They split their first two playoff games in Orlando, the top seed in the Eastern Conference but were eliminated when they lost the next two.

Ford is owed a reported $ 1.6 million under a two-year contract extension he received before this season. There are coaching openings with Miami, Golden State and the expansion teams, Toronto and Vancouver. 

 Karl Returning to Sonics  

George Karl, whose team was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round each of the past two years, will return as coach of the SuperSonics, the club said.

Karl confirmed his return by phone earlier in the evening. Karl, 44, has two seasons left on his contract, but only the next season is guaranteed. There had been widespread speculation Karl would be fired after the Sonics' second straight first-round elimination.

Kidd, Hill Share Rookie Award

Two old pals and young stars, Jason Kidd of the Mavericks and Grant Hill of the Pistons, shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Hill and Kidd have been friends since high school. They played on the same team at a Nike basketball camp one summer. In college, Kidd's California team knocked Hill's Duke team out of the NCAAs in 1993.

Then they were drafted 2-3 by the Mavs and Pistons last June and wound up tying for the rookie award, only the second time in NBA history that has happened. They became the first co-winners of the award since Boston's Dave Cowens and Portland's Geoff Petrie tied for it in 1970-71. Tuesday Night

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