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Jack Ramsay, Legendary NBA Coach and Former Heat Broadcaster, Dies

Former NBA coach and Miami Heat commentator Jack Ramsay died overnight. He was 89.

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    Dr. Jack Ramsay

    Former NBA coach and Miami Heat commentator Jack Ramsay died overnight. He was 89.

    Ramsay died in his sleep Monday in Naples, Fla., according to reports. It was announced last year that he was battling cancer.

    Ramsay was with the Heat from 1992 to 2000 and up until last year had been an ESPN radio analyst.

    "Dr. Jack was and is a treasured part of our Miami HEAT family. While a broadcaster with the HEAT for eight seasons from 1992-2000, he was a coach, teacher, mentor and friend to all in the Miami HEAT organization and has been a special part of the family ever since," the Heat said in a statement. "Dr. Jack Ramsay led a Hall of Fame life. In fact, he led several of them as his college, NBA and broadcasting careers were all individually extraordinary careers. Add in a life as a Navy Seal, a Doctorate and most importantly, a husband and father to his family. His was a life well lived. Thank you Dr. Jack for being in our lives."

    Before beginning his broadcasting career, Ramsay coached the Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indian Pacers. He led the Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA Championship.

    He got his start with the Saint Joseph's Hawks in Philadelphia, where he earned his bachelor's degree. St. Joe's shared the sad news on its Twitter feed Monday.

    "Anyone who loves SJU basketball has Jack Ramsay to thank. A great man and coach. He will be missed. #RIPDrJack."

    "The HEAT family has lost a great man today. When I first bought the team, we had no basketball organization in place and Dr. Jack was the first person who I turned to for advice. So for a few days, he was the entire basketball organization for the Miami HEAT," Heat owner Mickey Arison said in a statement. "Over the years I often turned to him for advice and he will be sorely missed by us all. My deepest sympathies to his family and all that loved him."

    "This is a very sad day for basketball, not just professional basketball, but the entire basketball world. The game has lost a giant today. Dr. Jack Ramsay meant a great deal to me as a mentor when I was coaching and while I've been with the HEAT running the team," Pat Riley said. "Our sympathies go out to his family and to all the people who really cared about Jack and what he's meant to them and what he's meant to this game. His legacy will live on through all the coaches and all the player's he's had relationships with over the years."