Jim Durham and the Greatest Bulls Announcers

Mike B.Correspondent INovember 15, 2012

Jim Durham and the Greatest Bulls Announcers

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    The Chicago Bulls have employed several great announcers throughout their 46 years of existence, with Jim Durham being one of the very best.

    Durham—who recently passed away at the age of 65—was a part of the franchise for several years, providing memorable play-by-play.

    This slideshow will cover Durham along with four other spectacular announcers in Bulls history.

    To make the list, it's imperative that the person has spent a few years with the team. That said, the legendary Bob Costas will not make an appearance since he only spent one season (1979-80) in Chicago.

    Here are the Bulls' five greatest announcers of all time. 

5. Stacey King

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    Drafted by the Bulls in 1989, Stacey King played four-and-a-half seasons with the team, winning three championships.

    He later became a Bulls commentator in 2006 and still holds the position today.

    Although he hasn’t been a broadcaster for a seriously long time, King makes the list because of his many humorous catchphrases and nicknames.

    He referred to former Bull Kurt Thomas as “Big Sexy” and Ronnie Brewer as “Chicago’s Finest Brew.”    

    A few of his phrases include "I didn't come for the massage, Funk, I came for the facial;" “He just blew by him like he had an I-Pass” and "Step back and let me kiss myself."

4. Wayne Larrivee

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    Currently the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers, Wayne Larrivee was a television play-by-play announcer for the Bulls from 1991-2008.

    Larrivee is known for saying “And there is your dagger,” every time the game was basically over.

    He would also use the phrase, “Ring it Up,” whenever a player knocked down a three-point field goal.

    For nearly 20 years, when Bulls fans tuned into WGN-TV, they were sure to hear some stellar play-by-play from Mr. Larrivee.     

3. Ray Clay

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    Ray Clay wasn't involved with play-by-play or color commentating but served as the Bulls' public address announcer.

    Clay held the position from 1990 until 2002, getting the opportunity to oversee the entire Bulls dynasty.

    He's famous for the unique way in which he introduced the Bulls' starting lineup at home games.

    Clay's opening address went like this: “Aaaaand now...the starting lineup...for your...Chicago Bulls!”

    When he got to Michael Jordan—who was always introduced last—he would say "Frommmm North Carolina...at guard...6’6"...Michael Jordan!”

    And don’t forget about, “The man…in the middle…from New Mexico…7’2”…Luc Longley!”   

2. Jim Durham

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    Jim Durham was the voice of the Bulls from 1973 all the way until 1991, the year that the team won their first title.

    During his tenure in Chicago, which was spent on the radio as well as television, Durham worked with fellow legends like Norm Van Lier and Johnny Kerr.

    The most memorable call of his career came during the 1989 playoffs when the Bulls faced the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    After Michael Jordan's stunning game-winner over Craig Ehlo in Game 5 of the first-round series, here's what Durham had to say:    

    "The inbounds pass comes in to Jordan. Here's Michael at the foul line, the shot on Ehlo...GOOD! THE BULLS WIN IT! THEY WIN IT! They upset the Cleveland Cavaliers! Michael Jordan hits it at the foul line! 101-100! 20,273 in stunned silence here in the Coliseum. Michael Jordan with 44 points in a game hit the shot over Craig Ehlo. What tremendous heroics we have had in Game 5. From both teams, what a spectacular series this has been. In my days in the NBA, 16 years, this is the greatest series I've ever seen!"

    It doesn't get any more classic than that.

1. Johnny "Red" Kerr

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    Johnny "Red" Kerr is the epitome of a Chicago Bulls legend. 

    The Chicago native was the Bulls' first-ever head coach, guiding the team to the postseason in its inaugural season (1966-67).

    In 1975, Kerr became a Bulls color commentator, a position in which held all the way until 2008. With that said, he was obviously there for all six of the franchise's titles in the 1990s.

    Kerr was known for his unmatched enthusiasm. Whenever a player made a great play, it seemed as if he was going to fall out of his seat in excitement. 

    In 1995, after Michael Jordan hit a game-winner in his fourth game since coming out of retirement, Kerr screamed "He is now back!" 

    Kerr died on February 26, 2009, the same day that former Bulls star Norm Van Lier passed away.