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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jack Ramsay

(Born on February 21, 1925) -- The basketball fans of Western New York had a hunch that they had a championship coach in town when Jack Ramsay led the Buffalo Braves. They just are sad he didn’t do it here.

Ramsay was born in Philadelphia and stayed in that area for the almost all of the early part of his life. He earned his college degree at St. Joseph’s, and his masters and doctorate at Penn. Ramsay didn’t major in basketball; it just seemed that way.

Ramsay entered the NBA in 1968 as the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. He later coached that team, and jumped to the Braves in 1972. Ramsay stayed through 1976, and helped put together an entertaining team in his time here.

He left in 1976, and immediately guided the Portland Trail Blazers to an NBA title in 1977. That was one of the most famous teams in NBA history, as Bill Walton and Co. defeated Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers in the finals. Ramsay stayed for 10 years in Portland, and then moved to Indiana.

Dr. Jack moved smoothly into broadcasting from there. He did some national and local commentary. Ramsay also wrote several books. He went into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

--- Budd Bailey

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