Jack Ramsay, the man who coached the NBA's Buffalo Braves during their time here, before going on to a championship in Portland and a slot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, has died.
ESPN tweeted news of his death early Monday morning. Longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey reported on Twitter earlier this week that Ramsay had been moved into hospice. He was 89.
Ramsay is most widely known for his work as a broadcaster on ESPN, and winning the 1977 NBA title with the Portland Trail Blazers.Ramsay finished his coaching career with a record of 864-783 (453-367 with the Blazers).
As news of his illness spread, earlier this week, trailblazers Coach Peter Stotts chose to honor Ramsay by wearing a vintage sportscoat of the kind Ramsay would be seen in as he paced the sidelines. USA TODAY photo at right
|From the Basketball Hall of Fame, Here's Ramsay's biography
A quiet leader, Jack Ramsay inspired greatness in his teams. A teacher, motivator, and true basketball aficionado, Ramsay created a lasting legacy at the collegiate and professional level. His preparation for games was impeccable and attention to detail extraordinary. A Jack Ramsay-coached team was always seasoned and well drilled, exceedingly ready for the task ahead. Few could predict that when Ramsay began his coaching career at two Philadelphia area high schools in 1949 that he would lead St. Joseph's College to ten postseason appearances and retire with the second most wins in NBA history. Ramsay coached four NBA teams, turning the expansion of the Buffalo Braves into one of the NBA's most exciting teams and rejuvenating the dormant Portland Trail Blazers. Also the general manager of 1967 Philadelphia 76ers, Ramsay's two coaching books, Pressure Basketball and The Coach's Art, are basketball classics.