DALLAS -- Both Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed their sadness over the death of former NBA coaching legend Dr. Jack Ramsay, who died Monday at the age of 89.
"Dr. Ramsay was a man of the highest character and integrity,'' Carlisle said. "His contributions to coaching and the NBA expand the better part of five decades.
"He will be missed, but he's had a very rich life and he passes with the satisfaction of knowing he's touched a lot of people and helped this game in so many ways.''
Ramsay coached in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers (1968-'72), Buffalo Braves (1972-'76), Portland Trailblazers (1976-'86) and Indiana Pacers (1986-'88).
Popovich said Ramsay helped Spurs forward Tim Duncan with some aspects of his game early in Duncan's career, and Popovich will forever be grateful for that.
“Dr. Jack was a good friend, a mentor, somebody that I respected very much,’’ Popovich said. “He helped us in our program, actually came in and worked with Timmie a while back when Timmie was a youngster.
“Great coach, just a great teacher and a really, really neat person -- somebody that was really special to a lot of us and we’ll all miss him. He’s been fighting hard for a long time, but he’ll be missed.’’
Led by Bill Walton, Ramsay coached the Blazers to the 1977 NBA title.
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter