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.
Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.
And if this headline looks familiar, it is.
LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!
No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.
It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.