Jim Durham Rumors
Ramsay, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and with melanoma in 2004, said his health is generally good and his decision to step away is not yet final. But he said he likely will do so because of no longer being able to work with play-by-play man Jim Durham, who died in November at 65. “It’s not quite the same,’’ said Ramsay, who has worked with different partners this season on ESPN Radio. “I did it all these years with one partner, Jim Durham, and he passed away after the first game this year. We had a great rapport and I really enjoyed working with him, and working with him is really why I extended my tour of duty.’’
Monday was a day Bob Ortegel wishes he could have stayed in bed and just be lost with his thoughts. That’s because that’s the day that one of Ortegel’s closest friends, ESPN Radio play-by-play man Jim Durhan, died at the age of 65. “The sports world and the radio and television industry lost a superstar,” Ortegel said after the Dallas Mavericks ran away from the Portland Trail Blazers, 114- 91, Monday at American Airlines Center. “I worked side-by-side with that man for eight years doing Mavericks games and we worked over 600 games together and he’s like a brother to me.
Durham, a Chicago native, had been doing games for ESPN, but he called Bulls games from 1973 to 1991 and White Sox games in 1989 and 1990. ‘‘I was so sorry to learn this morning of Jim Durham’s untimely passing,’’ Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. ‘‘Jim was the voice of the Bulls for 18 years, and he was the best at calling a basketball game I ever heard. 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.
It wasn’t the type of news coach Tom Thibodeau was expecting or was prepared for, so his reaction Monday to the death of former Bulls play-by-play man Jim Durham at 65 was one of complete surprise. ‘‘Geez, that’s too bad,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘My condolences to his family. A great, great guy, a legend in the NBA. That’s sad news. I’m sorry to hear that.’’
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban paid homeage to ex-Mavs broadcaster Jim Durham, who died Monday at the age of 65. “Obviously JD is a Hall Of Famer, he’s a legend,” Cuban said. “We were fortunate to have him here with the Mavs for so many years — he’ll be irreplaceable. “He had the golden voice and there will be no one like him.”
“I am stunned. Devastated,” said Steve Schanwald, the Bulls’ executive vice president of business operations. “I loved that man, we all did here, and of course Jim was the best in the business at his craft. No one brought the game more to life, brought more energy and humor to the broadcasts or painted a more vivid picture of what was happening on the floor than Jim did. I will miss his company and our conversations a lot. But I will always be grateful for our friendship and the times we shared together. Heartfelt condolences to (wife) Helen and his family.”
Jim Durham, lead play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ESPN Radio since its inception in January 1996, passed away over the weekend at his home in Tomball, TX (outside of Houston). Durham was 65 and is survived by his wife, Helen, their three children, Patrick, Richard and Tracy and several grandchildren. In 2011 Durham was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Media Award, presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.