Basketball Hall of Famer ‘Dr. Jack’ Ramsay dies at 89

Story highlights

John "Dr. Jack" Ramsay led Portland Trail Blazers to their only NBA title in 1977

Ramsay also won an NBA title as 76ers' general manager in 1967

Ramsay, inducted in Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, had 864-783 NBA coaching record

CNN  — 

Hall of Fame former NBA coach John “Dr. Jack” Ramsay, who became a basketball TV analyst years after winning a league championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, has died at age 89, his longtime employer ESPN said Monday on Twitter.

The cause of death wasn’t immediately announced. Ramsay had battled various types of cancer for more than a decade.

The Philadelphia native made his mark in the collegiate and professional coaching ranks, taking St. Joseph’s College to 10 postseason appearances in the 1950s and 1960s before becoming general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, winning an NBA title in 1967.

He later coached the 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers, earning a 864-783 record from 1968 to 1988.

His Trail Blazers won the NBA title in 1977, fueled by center Bill Walton, who was named the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player. It is the Trail Blazers’ only NBA championship.

Ramsay turned to television after leaving the Pacers, analyzing games for the Miami Heat, ESPN Radio and other ESPN platforms. He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

He was known as “Dr. Jack” for his doctorate in education, which he earned at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s.

When the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 1996-1997 season, NBA reporters voted Ramsay to a list of top 10 coaches in NBA history.

CNN’s Jillian Martin and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.