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Ex-Bulls, NBA announcer Jim Durham dies at 65

JIm Durham former Bulls anounncer longtime voice NBA ESPN has died age 65.

JIm Durham, the former Bulls anounncer and longtime voice of the NBA on ESPN, has died at age 65.

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Updated: November 5, 2012 4:56PM

Jim Durham, who did play-by-play for the Bulls for 18 years and more recently called NBA games for ESPN, has died. He was 65.

Durham announced for the Bulls from 1973 to 1991 and also had a two-year stint (1989-90) with the White Sox.

ESPN said Monday that Durham died over the weekend at his home in Tomball, Texas. A cause of death was not announced.

In 2011, Durham received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.

Durham was the lead play-by-play commentator for NBA games on ESPN Radio since its inception in 1996. His last assignment for ESPN was Tuesday’s season opener between Boston and Miami.

A Chicago native, Durham called Bulls games during Michael Jordan’s first seven seasons. His most memorable call might have been Jordan’s shot over Craig Ehlo to defeat the Cavaliers in the 1989 playoffs.

“I was so sorry to learn this morning of Jim Durham’s untimely passing,’’ Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Jim was the voice of the Bulls for 18 years and he was the best at calling a basketball game I ever heard. I loved the energy he brought to our broadcasts, the way he painted a word picture of what was happening on the court, which made you feel like you were there, and his sense of humor.

“Most importantly, Jim was my friend and I will miss the conversations we had about the NBA, life in general, and his favorite baseball team… the Chicago White Sox. On behalf of the entire Chicago Bulls organization, my deepest condolences to Helen and his entire family. He will be greatly missed.”

Former Bulls legend Michael Jordan texted ESPNChicago, stating, “The voice of champions. I will miss him.’’

When informed about Durham’s death on Monday after Bulls practice, coach Tom Thibodeau said: “Geez, that’s too bad. My condolences to his family. A great, great guy, a legend in the NBA. That’s sad news. I’m sorry to hear that.’’

He also served as a broadcaster for the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Astros.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, their three children, Patrick, Richard and Tracy and several grandchildren.

Contributing: AP


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