The Lakers never worked with the man on the sideline. But with Hall of Fame basketball coach Jack Ramsay dying in his sleep at age 89 after a long fight with cancer, the Lakers were well aware of the impact he made.
“I’ve been an admirer of Dr. Jack Ramsay since I was playing high school basketball in New York and he was coaching the [Philadelphia] 76ers,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Although we never worked together directly, it was my pleasure and honor to have gotten to know him and join him in the NBA family over the past 37 years. On behalf of the entire Lakers organization, we send our deepest condolences to the Ramsay family.”
Sad day to see my friend Dr. Jack Ramsay pass. Condolences go out to his family & friends.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Ramsay is best known for winning the 1977 NBA championship with the Portland Trail Blazers coach. But he had a presence with the Lakers in recent years as a broadcaster for ESPN Radio. Anytime he arrived at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, players, coaches and staff members greeted Ramsay with warmth and affection.
RIP Dr. Jack Ramsay. I always enjoyed chatting with him during our interviews. Great man. My thoughts are with his family and friends. — Pau Gasol (@paugasol) April 29, 2014