On Feb. 10, the Chicago Bulls did a good thing. They honored a very sick Johnny "Red" Kerr with a heartwarming ceremony at the United Center. Kerr, a former Bull as well as a Bulls TV broadcaster for decades, gave as much of his life as one man can to a single NBA organization. He deserved his ceremony, but what he really deserved was a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Thursday, Kerr got the next best thing.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame awarded Johnny "Red" Kerr with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday, the highest honor, besides enshrinement, the Hall bestows. In many cases, "lifetime achievement" is just a euphemism. But few fit the phrase better than Johnny Red.
After all, this is a man who traveled the NBA as a player, who gave up his playing days to coach the Bulls, and who, after a successful start, gave his entire life to the organization. He coached, he worked in the front office and -- what most Bulls fans will remember him for -- he served as Bulls analyst for over 30 years.
Viewers develop a relationship with guys like Kerr. They're around for so long and they see so much that it becomes difficult to imagine your viewing experience without them. They become part of a routine. Kerr not only developed that relationship, he did it before the Bulls became the Bulls, back when they were just a fledgling NBA franchise with little in the way of history or success. He did it before Michael Jordan.
And when Michael Jordan came around, Kerr was still there. At the risk of getting sappy, mutual loyalty like that is rare. It makes you feel good about the Bulls as an organization, and sometimes, wins or not, that's all fans really need.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.