Legendary Chicago Bulls broadcaster Jim Durham passed away at his home in Tomball, Texas over the weekend. He was 65 years old.
Durham was a native of Chicago and older Bulls fans will remember him calling games during the Michael Jordan era along with his partner, another Bulls broadcasting legend, Johnny “Red” Kerr. In 2011, Durham received the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award.
Steve Schanwald, the Bulls vice president of business operations, told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that that he was “devastated” by Durham’s passing.
“I am stunned. Devastated. I loved that man, we all did here, and of course Jim was the best in the business at his craft. No one brought the game more to life, brought more energy and humor to the broadcasts or painted a more vivid picture of what was happening on the floor than Jim did. I will miss his company and our conversations a lot. But I will always be grateful for our friendship and the times we shared together. Heartfelt condolences to Helen and his family.”
Jim Durham called Bulls games from 1973-1991, which included the first seven years of Jordan’s career in Chicago. During that time, he also called Chicago White Sox games in 1989-90. After leaving Chicago for Texas, he would be the Dallas Mavericks broadcaster from 1993-2001.
Durham won Sportscaster of the Year in Illinois in 1979, 1989 and 1990, while also winning two Chicago Emmy Awards. Fans attending Tuesday night’s game between the Bulls and the Orlando Magic should expect some sort of tribute to the broadcasting legend.
Jim Durham is survived by his wife Helen and their three children, Patrick, Richard and Tracy.