Although Don Ford put up solid numbers during his 4½ seasons with the Lakers, perhaps his most notable contribution to the organization was an indirect one that took place as a result of his departure from the team.
After being selected by the Lakers in the sixth round of the 1975 draft, Ford had his best NBA season as a rookie, with 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He was traded with a 1980 first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Butch Lee and a 1982 first-round pick, which the Lakers used to draft James Worthy as the top pick overall.
With the exception of his nine-year professional career, which included two seasons in Italy, Ford has spent much of his life in his hometown of Santa Barbara.
He played at Santa Barbara High and was an academic All-American at UC Santa Barbara. He has been a real estate agent in Santa Barbara for more than 20 years and is the color commentator on radio broadcasts of UC Santa Barbara men’s and women’s basketball games.