Former Heat broadcaster Jack Ramsay, a Hall of Fame coach and one of the most popular announcers in South Florida history, said he needs to begin immediate medical treatment and his broadcasting career is likely over. Ramsay, 88, declined to discuss the nature of his medical condition. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and received treatment, several years ago, for melanomas “all over my body.” Ramsay said Thursday that the looming treatment will prevent him from working the remainder of the NBA playoffs, including The Finals, for ESPN Radio. He had been scheduled to announce Game 3 of the Heat-Bulls series on Friday. And he said he’s not planning to do broadcast work next season, barring a change of heart. “I’m going back to Naples and will start the treatment on Monday there,” Ramsay said by phone Thursday. “I have a specific time period where I must have this and cannot do it if I’m traveling around. I’ll miss doing the broadcasts.” Of his spirits, he said, “I’m fine. I’ve been through all this many times.” Even before learning this week that he needs treatment, Ramsay said this season very likely would be his last in the booth. “I’m not enjoying it like I used to, and travel is difficult,” he said. “Before this season, I did the games mostly with Jim Durham, and then he passed away after the first game this season. “I enjoyed working with him, which is why I extended my [stay with ESPN]. I will miss the association with the players and coaches. It has been a great ride.” Affectionately known as “Dr. Jack,” Ramsay --- who has a doctorate degree in education from Pennsylvania -- has distinguished himself throughout his life: for his class and integrity; for his coaching --- he guided the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 – and finally, for his substantive, authoritative analysis as a broadcaster. He has announced games since retiring as a coach early in the 1998-89 season and worked as the Heat’s TV analyst from 1992 through 2000. Ramsay endeared himself to Heat fans not only with his cogent commentary but also his playful expressions, such as “Slamma!” after dunks and “Lenard!” after big baskets by former Heat guard Voshon Lenard. Ramsay and Hubie Brown worked as co-analysts on last year’s Finals broadcasts on ESPN Radio. ESPN hasn’t named a replacement, but Chris Mullin will fill in Friday.
Dr. Jack Ramsay needs medical treatment, says career likely over
Miami Herald | May 10