Lacy Banks Rumors
The Bulls will honor the memory of Sun-Times sportswriter Lacy J. Banks with a moment of silence before the game Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors. Banks, who covered the Bulls and the NBA during his 40-year career at the Sun-Times, died Wednesday of heart disease at 68. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Joyce, and their daughters, Nicole Chapman, Noelle Banks and Natasha Banks, as well as five grandchildren. The Bulls have arranged for his family to attend the game in a private box at the United Center.
Chicago native and Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas knew Banks even before his NBA career began. ‘‘We knew him from the church and the community,’’ said Thomas, now the coach at Florida International. ‘‘He and my mom got to be real close. When things would be rough for us at times, he’d pick up the phone and call, say a prayer with us. “Our conversations weren’t always even about the NBA or basketball. We were young men coming into tremendous wealth and fame, and not only was he a reporter, but he was a mentor. He was a leader in the journalism profession but also a leader in the community.’’ Pat Williams, the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, first met Banks when Williams was the young general manager of the Bulls in the early 1970s.
‘‘He was more than a reporter on the sidelines,’’ Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. ‘‘He cared deeply about the teams he covered and the profession that he represented. While we didn’t always agree with his position — as is natural — we never questioned his enthusiasm for the Bulls or the city of Chicago.’’
Lacy J. Banks was an unconventional pioneer. He was a trailblazer as the first African-American sportswriter for the Sun-Times, a job that led him to cover seven world championships involving Chicago teams. He was a Baptist preacher for nearly 60 years, too, a side of himself he could uniquely intertwine into his career as a journalist.