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.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.