Jim Durham Dies: NBA Broadcaster Was 65

By: Amanda Crum - November 6, 2012

Jim Durham, who broadcast games for ESPN since 1996 and was present during the height of Bulls madness, died on Sunday at his home in Texas. He was 65.

Durham had quite a career in sports broadcasting, working for various outlets over the years which included CBS, NBC, and Turner Sports. He was known as the “voice” of the Bulls from 1973-1991, years which saw Michael Jordan rise to infamy in the sports world.

”Jim was the voice of the Bulls for 18 years and he was the best at calling a basketball game I ever heard,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said. ”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.”

Durham received the Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2011 for his decades-long career and contributions in the sports world; many in the business expressed grief at the news of his death earlier this week, saying he was one-of-a-kind.

”He’s the true definition of a Hall of Famer,” said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. ”There is nobody who was better at radio. We were lucky when I first got the team that he was the broadcaster. … He was a class act all the way. You can’t say anything but great things about Jim.”

Image: ESPN

Amanda Crum

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

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  • Eric Hagely

    I believe you meant to say that he saw MJ’s “rise to ‘stardom’ in the sports world” rather than MJ’s “rise to infamy” (bad reputation or wickedness).

  • Tom Lamonica

    Jim Durham got his start as a college student doing Illinois State basketball games when Doug Collins was playing here. Like Doug, Jim went right from college to the NBA as the Chicago Bulls star announcer. Also like Doug, becoming an NBA star did not change his personality. He was a great announcer … and an even better man!

  • Lucas

    great moment at the Bulls game when they showed an honorary video about Durham http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCjmHiDwKMQ&feature=plcp

  • H. Campbell

    Jim Durham’s death at the age of 65 is not only sad, it’s also senseless. Who just dies without any warning when he or she reaches the age of 65 years?? Especially in this day & age. This man’s life was just way too short any way you look at it. :(

  • Ed Morris

    Having grown up in Chicago, I remember listening to Jim Durham on WIND-AM 570. The early broadcasts would begin with tapes of two Jim Durham calls: “Artis spins, stuffed it! He stuffed it right over Jabbar! May against Erving, May on the drive against Erving all the way, running one-hander, good!” I knew immediately it was time for Chicago Bulls Basketball… Jim, rest in peace, and tell “Chicago Eddie” Schwartz hello.