The NBA lost one of its elder statesmen on Monday with the passing of Hall of Fame basketball coach Jack Ramsay.
The former Portland Trail Blazers coach, and 1977 NBA champion, lost a long battle to cancer, dying in his sleep at age 89.
"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. "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."
After a long career in the NBA both as coach and general manager, Ramsay worked as a television and radio broadcaster.
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
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's NBA title in Portland was won with center Bill Walton and forward Maurice Lucas.
"Jack's life is a beacon which guides us all," said Walton in 2007 to USA Today. "He is our moral compass, our spiritual inspiration. He represents the conquest of substance over hype. He is a true saint of circumstance."