Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay dies

"They talk about the Lakers (being) 'Showtime,' but we were 'Showtime' in Buffalo with Jack," Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo said in a statement. "He was so much into the physical fitness and that's why we were so successful. It was very fun playing for him.

"Jack introduced me to the Hall of Fame. He gave me a fabulous tribute. When I heard about (his passing) this morning, I just felt so sad. He gave me my start in my career. He jumpstarted my career. When he came back and got the job announcing here in Miami, it was like a homecoming for us."

Ramsay was 864-783 in his NBA career. He was named one of the league's top 10 all-time coaches in 1996. He also was one of six coaches after the 1976-77 NBA-ABA merger to win a championship in his first season leading the team. The others were Paul Westhead with the Lakers in 1980, Pat Riley with the Lakers in '82, K.C. Jones with the Celtics in '84, Phil Jackson with the Lakers in 2000 and Larry Brown with the Pistons in 2004.

When he left the Pacers, Ramsay carefully did not use the word "retire" and began working as a television analyst on 76ers games. Eventually, he worked on Heat television broadcasts for eight seasons before moving full time to ESPN for radio and TV commentating before the 2000-01 season.

"The entire ESPN family is saddened by the loss of our beloved NBA analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay," ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement. "It was our great pleasure to work with Dr. Jack, and his energy and zest for life resonated in all that he did. He leaves an amazing legacy of helping fans understand and appreciate the game he loved."

The funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning in Naples.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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