Broward News

Dr. Jack Ramsay, Legendary Heat Announcer, NBA Champion, Dead at 89




Simply the greatest calls in Miami Heat broadcast history.

The man and legend who made those calls, Dr. Jack Ramsay, passed away in his sleep Sunday night at age 89 after a long bout with cancer.

Ramsay coached the Portland Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA Finals championship and won the hearts of Heat fans everywhere when he became Eric Reid's color analyst for Sun Sports in 1992.

Affectionately known as Dr. Jack, Ramsay is forever known by Heat fans as the wise, sage-like voice that taught a generation about the game of basketball while throwing down his memorable playful calls, such as "Le-nard!" and "This-away-that-away-HARDAWAY!"

Ramsay earned a doctorate degree in education from Pennsylvania in 1963. He quickly became one of the most respected and revered coaches in the NBA, prompting Pat Riley to once quip, "[Dr. Jack] has probably forgotten more about the game than I know."

In 1968, he became the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, leading them to an NBA championship that year.

In 1976, he took over as head coach of the hapless Portland Trailblazers and molded that young team into NBA champions just a season later.

But Heat fans will forever remember Dr. Jack as Eric Reid's broadcasting partner from 1992 to 2003. Ramsay was the voice fans grew to love and know, through some lean years, into the championship-contending years of the Pat Riley era.

With the excitement of those teams came the excitement and passion of Dr. Jack. His calls are still a part of Miami Heat lore. Walk up to most Heat fans and shout "THUNDERRRR!" and they'll immediately recognize that as Dr. Jack's call for whenever Dan Majerle would hit one of his threes.

Dr. Jack was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph