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Heat organization reacts on the passing of Dr. Jack Ramsay

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The legendary basketball coach and former HEAT broadcaster was a beloved part of the franchise for a decade.

Dr. Jack Ramsay with future Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Dr. Jack Ramsay with future Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

The news of the passing of Dr. Jack Ramsay reached the Miami Heat organization and the reaction was swift and immediate as they prepared for tonight's pivotal Game 4 against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Putting basketball to the side for a moment, the Heat paid tribute to their former color analyst, whose delivery and enthusiasm for some of the Heat's greatest games ever will forever be etched in our minds.

From the Heat organization:

"Dr. Jack was and is a treasured part of our Miami HEAT family. While a broadcaster with the HEAT for eight seasons from 1992-2000, he was a coach, teacher, mentor and friend to all in the Miami HEAT organization and has been a special part of the family ever since. Dr. Jack Ramsay led a Hall of Fame life. In fact, he led several of them as his college, NBA and broadcasting careers were all individually extraordinary careers. Add in a life as a Navy Seal, a Doctorate and most importantly, a husband and father to his family. His was a life well lived. Thank you Dr. Jack for being in our lives."

Team owner Micky Arison also had some thoughts to share:

"The HEAT family has lost a great man today. When I first bought the team, we had no basketball organization in place and Dr. Jack was the first person who I turned to for advice. So for a few days, he was the entire basketball organization for the Miami HEAT. Over the years I often turned to him for advice and he will be sorely missed by us all. My deepest sympathies to his family and all that loved him."

Team president Pat Riley on Ramsay:

"This is a very sad day for basketball, not just professional basketball, but the entire basketball world. The game has lost a giant today. Dr. Jack Ramsay meant a great deal to me as a mentor when I was coaching and while I've been with the HEAT running the team. Our sympathies go out to his family and to all the people who really cared about Jack and what he's meant to them and what he's meant to this game. His legacy will live on through all the coaches and all the player's he's had relationships with over the years."

His former broadcasting partner Eric Reid spoke to the Sun-Sentinel about "Doctor Jack" today:

"To me, I'm 56 years old, I've met a lot of people in my life but none more unique and extraordinary than Jack Ramsay. A lot of people will say this, I mean it, 'Hall of Fame coach, and even greater as a man.

"Among the many things that Jack set the bar for and set a great example for, is how to live a full and vibrant life," Reid continued. "He's known best as a Hall of Fame coach and coaching the Trail Blazers to their only championship. But as I look at Jack, I think first of the family man, a great husband to Jean for all those years, a great father, and probably an even greater grandfather. He was so proud of his family and his grandchildren.

"But I think what made Jack so unique, and we were fortunate to intersect with Jack Ramsay after the rigors and stresses of a life in coaching, and he was so relaxed during his time with us, was he became such a great ambassador for the game as a broadcaster. And broadcasting gave him a second life in the NBA, because today's players didn't know Jack as a coach. They knew him as an ESPN guy.

"He was so knowledge in such a colorful and most importantly, such a warm and personal way. And I think that's what set Jack apart, the way he was able to communicate with everybody, whether you were a head coach, owner of the team, a player, or the guy driving us around in his cab. Jack treated everybody the same, with dignity, with humility and with great warmth."