CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls TV play-by-play announcer Neil Funk is retiring at the end of the season.
The Bulls said Wednesday that Funk, the voice of five of their six championships, will step down after his 29th season with the team. He is scheduled to work all home games and a reduced schedule on the road (the games he is not calling will see a variety of announces next to regular color analyst Stacy King).
“After 43 years calling NBA games, 28 of those with the Chicago Bulls, it is time to step aside. I want to give a special thanks to Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf for allowing me and my family to be a part of the best franchise in sports. I also want to thank Bulls fans around the world for being so gracious and supportive. Thanks for the great ride,” Funk said in a statement.
“Neil has been the voice of five of the six Bulls Championships, and his play-by-play will be forever linked to three decades of storied Chicago Bulls basketball. Not only has Neil called games for some of the NBA’s greatest players, but he has had a career that makes him one of the NBA’s most trusted broadcasters of all time. We thank Neil for his contributions that have consistently made our broadcasts among the best in the league, and wish him and his family the very best,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls Chairman, in a statement.
Funk, 73, initially joined the Bulls as their radio play-by-play announcer and moved to the TV side. He began his broadcasting career in 1971 calling University of Illinois basketball and football as well as minor league baseball games. He later broadcast Philadelphia 76ers, Kansas City Kings and New Jersey Nets games.
“Neil’s tremendous NBA broadcasting career spans nearly five decades, and we have been fortunate to be a part of it for the past 28 years. Whether listening to the radio or watching on TV, Bulls fans have always been able to count on Neil and his signature phrases to capture the excitement of the Chicago Stadium, the United Center, and any road arena. We greatly appreciate everything that he has done for the team and look forward to celebrating his accomplishments during his final season,” said Michael Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls President and COO.