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Longtime NBA broadcaster Durham dies

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Nov 05 2012 04:25:43 PM CST
closeup of basketball seams, ball

Jason Antony/SXC

Longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Durham died in his Tomball, Texas, home Sunday. He was 65.

No cause of death was announced, according to ESPN.com.

Durham was ESPN's lead radio play-by-play announcer for NBA games. He worked alongside Jack Ramsay since 1996. Durham's final broadcast was Tuesday night's season opener between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

Durham was the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award winner in 2011.

Durham was the radio and television voice of the Chicago Bulls from 1973-91. His final season in Chicago was the Bulls first championship with Michael Jordan.

He also called games on television for the Houston Astros from 1983-85, Chicago White Sox in 1989-90, and the Dallas Mavericks from 1993-2001.

In addition to ESPN, he worked for NBC, CBS and Turner Sports.

Durham was the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year in 1979, 1989 and 1990, and won two Chicago Emmy awards.

"Jim was a respected play-by-play specialist who combined a tremendous gift for storytelling with a Hall of Fame voice," said Mo Davenport, ESPN Radio's senior vice president and general manager. "He's been a dedicated friend and a trusted teammate to so many at ESPN for two decades and he will be greatly missed."

John Martin, ESPN executive producer on radio remotes, who often worked with Durham, said that "Jim was an extraordinary professional. His talent for calling NBA on radio in vivid, descriptive terms was unmatched. When JD was so deservedly recognized with the Gowdy Award, he had the Hall of Fame career to go along with his long established position as a Hall of Fame person. He was a sensational individual."