Author of The Jordan Rules, Bulls.com columnist and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Sam Smith.
Our conversation begins with Sam’s early career at the Chicago Tribune. He talks about meeting Michael Jordan for the first time, covering the Bulls in the 1980s and his continued friendship with all-time great, Phil Jackson. We cover his relationship with iconic commentators, Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr and Jim Durham, plus the incredible access Sam had to players and coaches whilst writing his New York Times best-selling book.
Sam shares a great behind-the-scenes story about ‘The Shot’ (Jordan over Ehlo in the 1989 NBA Playoffs) and we discuss his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, for contributions to the game. We finish up with some modern day Bulls basketball chat, including the latest on Derrick Rose’s return.
Former long-time Chicago Bulls play-by-play man, Tom Dore.
Our discussion includes Tom’s native Illinois, his time at Missouri University and subsequent journey to France and New Zealand where he played basketball professionally. We talk about Andrew and Lindsay Gaze (Australia’s own basketball royalty), how Tom became a broadcaster for the Bulls and his association with two of the all-time greats; Jim Durham and Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr (both RIP). We also discuss his relationship with Michael Jordan and unearth some fantastic MJ stories.
Today is a sad day for longtime NBA fans, with the passing of Jim Durham. ‘JD’ was only 65 years old. My fondest memories of Durham are from his time as play-by-play man for the Chicago Bulls TV & radio networks in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Durham’s most famous call will be forever linked to Michael Jordan – 1989’s ‘The Shot’. My words simply won’t do it justice, so let’s hear it from JD himself. Here’s an excellent clip uploaded by ESPN – two iconic Jordan moments, as called by the unmistakable voice of the one and only Jim Durham:
Other signature Jim Durham calls burnt into my memory include:
- “Michael into the front-court…”
- “…rimming – no” / “rimming – yes”
- “…book it”.
Just last year, Durham was presented with the Curt Gowdy Media Award – for his contribution to the sport – from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Accepting the award, he was as unassuming as ever, telling a great story or two about those he had the pleasure of working with throughout his career – including the great Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr.
Rest in peace, Jim Durham. Your voice and Michael Jordan’s career are forever entwined.
Do you have a favourite moment from JD’s amazing broadcasting career that comes to mind?