PORTLAND -- The Portland Trail Blazers are working with city officials to rename a Rose Quarter street after legendary coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, who died earlier this week.
Commissioner Steve Novick and the Blazers hope to rename Winning Way to Ramsay Way, to honor the man who led the team to a win in the 1977 NBA Championship.
“Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and I believe this is a perfect way to salute Jack Ramsay,” Novick said Thursday. “I have owed Dr. Jack a huge debt of gratitude since June 5, 1977, when, as a kid in Cottage Grove, I watched Oregon’s team claim the NBA title. It is an honor to have a chance to pay him a proper tribute.”
Blazers president Chris McGowan said renaming the street just north of the Moda Center would give Ramsay a place of prominence in the city he loved.
“Dr. Jack is a permanent icon in the storied history of the Trail Blazers and indeed the NBA,” McGowan said. "We are proud to partner with Commissioner Novick to bring this resolution before the city council.”
Novick plans to introduce the resolution at the next Portland City Council meeting on May 7.
Meanwhile, the Blazers are wearing a commemorative plaid patch on their uniforms reading "Dr. Jack '77" for the remainder of their NBA playoff run.
And as a lasting tribute to Ramsay, McGowan said the team will establish the Spirit of Rip City Award, to be given annually to "a coach, educator, administrator or community activist whose focus, determination and never-give-up spirit, coaching hallmarks of Ramsay, makes a meaningful contribution to the greater Portland community."