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Reinsdorf recalls Durham’s ability to paint picture

BRISTOL, Conn. – Former Bulls broadcaster and ESPN radio announcer Jim Durham, who called NBA games for the network, has died. He was 65.

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. A Chicago native, Durham called Bulls games during Michael Jordan’s first seven seasons. He also served as a broadcaster for the Dallas Mavericks, White Sox and Houston Astros.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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.

The Mavericks and Trail Blazers observed a moment of silence before their game at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.

“He’s the true definition of a Hall of Famer,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. “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.”

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