Jim Durham

Jim Durham

Jim Durham (February 12, 1947 – November 4, 2012) was an American sportscaster.


  • Career 1
    • Early career 1.1
    • NBA career 1.2
      • The Shot 1.2.1
    • Major League Baseball 1.3
    • Death 1.4
  • References 2
  • External links 3


Durham spent more than 32 years calling NBA games on TV and radio; his previous assignments were with the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Mavericks, TNT and TBS. With the Bulls, he was the play-by-play announcer when Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and their teammates won the 1991 NBA championship. In 1999, Durham called men's NCAA basketball tournament games for CBS.

Early career

Early in his career, Durham worked on WJBC radio in Bloomington, Illinois. During his time there, he covered the career of Illinois State University basketball star Doug Collins, later coincidentally the coach of the Bulls during the early Jordan years in Chicago, including the famous call listed below.

NBA career

Durham was the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls from 1973 to 1991. During his first twelve years covering the ballclub, he was exclusively on the radio broadcasts on WIND (1973–1980, 1982–1985), WVON (1980–1982) and WGCI-FM (1981–1982; shared arrangement with WVON). Primarily working solo, he was paired with Norm Van Lier in 1980–81 and Dave Baum in 1982–83. For the remainder of his time in Chicago beginning with the 1985–86 season, he and Johnny Kerr handled the simulcast on WMAQ (1985–1988) and WLUP (1988–1991) on the radio and WFLD/SportsVision (1985–1989) and WGN/SportsChannel Chicago (1989–1991) on television.[1] Five weeks after being relegated back to radio only on May 29, 1991,[2] Durham was dismissed on July 3 as a result of a contract dispute with Bulls management. He was succeeded by Wayne Larrivee (WGN) and Tom Dore (SportsChannel) on television[3] and Neil Funk on the radio.

Starting in 1995, he called numerous National Basketball Association games for ESPN and ESPN Radio.

The Shot

Perhaps Durham's most memorable call was for "The Shot" made by Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1989 Eastern Conference First Round between the Bulls and Cavs:

Major League Baseball

Durham also did play-by-play for Major League Baseball, first in the 1980s for the Houston Astros, then from 19891990 for the Chicago White Sox and for ESPN Radio from 1998 until his death in 2012.


Durham died on November 4, 2012 due to complications from a heart attack.[4]


  1. ^ Chicago Bulls 2012–13 Media Guide.
  2. ^ , Thursday, May 30, 1991.Chicago TribuneNidetz, Steve. "Radio Only For Durham Next Year,"
  3. ^ , Thursday, July 4, 1991.Chicago TribuneNidetz, Steve. "After 18 Years, Bulls Fire Durham,"
  4. ^ "Jim Durham, N.B.A. Broadcaster, Is Dead at 65". New York Times. November 4, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 

External links

  • Jim Durham ESPN Bio