Earlier this year it was revealed ESPN Radio NBA analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay would be retiring from his announcing duties at the end of the season at 88 years of age. Ramsay's longtime partner Jim Durham passed away in November and Ramsay cited the struggle it had been working without Durham.
Unfortunately, the end of Ramsay's announcing career may come sooner than he originally planned. Due to undisclosed medical issues, Ramsay will be unable to work the rest of this year's NBA Playoffs and his media career has most likely come to an end. The news comes via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
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.”
Ramsay's presence and insight behind the microphone has made him one of the best analysts in sports, even if national television audiences haven't heard his voice for quite a while. His partnership with Jim Durham was one of the cornerstones of ESPN Radio's live event coverage. When he worked the Finals alongside Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico, I intentionally made it a point to listen to at least some of the radio broadcast because of Ramsay and Brown's basketball acumen.
His longevity behind the mic is truly astounding and he should be lauded for having one of the great careers of anyone in basketball. Dr. Jack was pure class all the way through and we wish him the best as he steps away for medical treatment.