Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby Basketball Fan on Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:53 pm

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10851 ... title-dies

Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay dies
Ramsay was a longtime NBA analyst for ESPN and coached 20 seasons in the NBA, during which he emphasized fitness, selflessness, ball movement and skill -- qualities that carried his Portland team to the 1976-77 championship in his first season as coach of the team.

He has long been an icon in Portland, remembered as much for his distinctive 1970s fashion sense as for the city's only NBA title.

In his two decades as an NBA coach, Ramsay made the playoffs 16 times. He also won a title while serving as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966-67 season. Ramsay was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Ramsay attributed many of his coaching philosophies to his time in the Navy during World War II, when he worked in underwater demolition, the forerunner of today's Navy Seals. He wrote about the experience on ESPN.com in 2011.

"I learned how important physical conditioning is. I learned how to focus on an objective in spite of all kinds of hazards. I learned how to deal with stress, too," he wrote. "If you make a wrong move with explosives, it could be deadly. If you're there when they blow up the beach, you get blown up, too. So you need to get your job done correctly ... then pull the fuse with enough lag time for you to clear the area completely and get picked up by the small boats.

Dr. Jack Ramsay coached in the NBA for 20 seasons, going 864-783 and winning the 1976-77 title with the Trail Blazers. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
"I also learned that my connection with my team members was best handled by being in there with them."

Ramsay was diagnosed with melanoma in 2004 and later battled growths and tumors that spread to his legs, lungs and brain. He also fought prostate cancer and most recently a marrow syndrome.

His affinity for fitness never wavered, though. Ramsay, who competed in at least 20 triathlons in his lifetime, worked out regularly into his 80s, even as he battled the various forms of cancer that he was stricken with. He often spoke of his love of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico near his home in Naples, Fla., or jogging in a pool or from wall to wall in his hotel room when he was traveling on NBA assignments.

"He's probably forgotten more about the game than I know," Miami Heat president Pat Riley once said of Ramsay, whom he counted as a close friend.

"Jack's life is a beacon which guides us all," Bill Walton, who was on Ramsay's 1977 title team in Portland, told USA Today in 2007. "He is our moral compass, our spiritual inspiration. He represents the conquest of substance over hype. He is a true saint of circumstance."

Ramsay spent several years late in life caring for his wife, Jean, who was diagnosed in 2001 with Alzheimer's disease. She died in January 2010.

John T. Ramsay was born in 1925 and attended high school in Upper Darby (outside Philadelphia) and college at St. Joseph's. He earned a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, explaining the "Dr. Jack" moniker that most players and fans simply knew him by.

After the Navy, and coaching at St. Joseph's, he coached the 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Blazers and Pacers.

"They talk about the Lakers (being) 'Showtime,' but we were 'Showtime' in Buffalo with Jack," Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo said in a statement. "He was so much into the physical fitness and that's why we were so successful. It was very fun playing for him.

"Jack introduced me to the Hall of Fame. He gave me a fabulous tribute. When I heard about (his passing) this morning, I just felt so sad. He gave me my start in my career. He jumpstarted my career. When he came back and got the job announcing here in Miami, it was like a homecoming for us."

Ramsay was 864-783 in his NBA career. He was named one of the league's top 10 all-time coaches in 1996. He also was one of six coaches after the 1976-77 NBA-ABA merger to win a championship in his first season leading the team. The others were Paul Westhead with the Lakers in 1980, Pat Riley with the Lakers in '82, K.C. Jones with the Celtics in '84, Phil Jackson with the Lakers in 2000 and Larry Brown with the Pistons in 2004.

When he left the Pacers, Ramsay carefully did not use the word "retire" and began working as a television analyst on 76ers games. Eventually, he worked on Heat television broadcasts for eight seasons before moving full time to ESPN for radio and TV commentating before the 2000-01 season.

"The entire ESPN family is saddened by the loss of our beloved NBA analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay," ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement. "It was our great pleasure to work with Dr. Jack, and his energy and zest for life resonated in all that he did. He leaves an amazing legacy of helping fans understand and appreciate the game he loved."

The funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning in Naples.
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby jlkr on Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:09 pm

I liked Dr Jack. Old school coach. Good commentator.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

--Robert Frost
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby gcclaker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:18 pm

One of my favorite people in The League past and present. R.I.P. Jack Ramsey.
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby Weezy on Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:48 pm

His coaching career was before my NBA watching time, but I always enjoyed his commentary, I missed it when he stopped doing national TV games and went to strictly radio.
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby John3:16 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:11 pm

gcclaker wrote:One of my favorite people in The League past and present. R.I.P. Jack Ramsey.


Agree. Just seemed like a good man.
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:25 pm

He and Hubbie Brown are the last of the elder statesmen of the NBA….. sad day for me. I met the man a couple of times over the years in charity dinners/fund raisers.

Fantastic coach and even better man. Everything he viewed was "glass half full". I'm sure that is how he viewed his illness in some way.

RIP…..
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby therealdeal on Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:52 am

John3:16 wrote:
gcclaker wrote:One of my favorite people in The League past and present. R.I.P. Jack Ramsey.


Agree. Just seemed like a good man.
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Re: Former NBA coach/ESPN analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay has died

Postby Basketball Fan on Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:14 pm

http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/st ... tch-jersey

Blazers to don Dr. Jack Ramsay patch



The Trail Blazers will honor the memory of Dr. Jack Ramsay with a patch on their jerseys.
The patch, which pays tribute to the signature plaid outfits Ramsay was famous for when he coached the team from 1976 to 1986, has the number "77" on it for the year he led the Trail Blazers to their only NBA title.

The Hall of Fame coach, who went on to have a 17-year broadcasting career as an analyst for ESPN radio, died Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 89.

"It's a very unique patch that pays perfect tribute to who Dr. Jack is," Portland general manager Neil Olshey said in a statement. "It embodies his time in Portland, his vibrant personality, and ultimately all that he meant to the Trail Blazers and the NBA."

The patch, which the Blazers will wear throughout the postseason, is the first of many tributes the team says it will have to honor Ramsay, who was with Portland for 10 of his 21 years as an NBA head coach.

Ramsay was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

The Blazers play the Rockets in Houston on Wednesday night and own a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
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