It will sound strange next season to listen to one of the ESPN national radio broadcasts of an NBA game and not hear the voice and smart commentary of Dr. Jack Ramsay.
It will be stranger yet just not to have him around the game — he’s been involved with the NBA as a coach, general manager or broadcaster for more than 50 years.
But at age 88 he is expected to retire after this season. The NBA legend spoke to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida about it.
“I think this will be my last year,’’ Ramsay, a Naples, Fla., resident who once was a Miami Heat television analyst, said in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida.
Ramsay is in good health, but says he had stayed in broadcasting because he enjoyed working with his friend and play-by-play partner Jim Durham, who died unexpectedly in November at age 65. While Ramsay has had a lot of partners this season, the entire experience has him ready to move on.
After time as a high school and college coach Ramsay entered the NBA in 1966 to be the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers — and they won a ring his first season.
But coaching is where we best know him. By 1968 he was the coach of the 76ers and he coached for 21 NBA seasons (864-783). He was the coach in the plaid jackets that led the 1977, Bill Walton led Trail Blazers to the NBA title. He also coached the Pacers for three seasons in the 1980s.
After that he got into broadcasting, which he has been doing with teams or ESPN ever since.
But he’s moving on now. Which is good for him but a loss for us.
“It’s been a great ride,’’ he said.