Photos: Tribute to Red Kerr | Life and TimesPresident Obama and Michael Jordan honor Johnny KerrTribute Poster (sponsored by Harris): .PDF | .JPGAudio: Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Johnny "Red" Kerr's legacy
The Chicago Bulls longtime team broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr was honored for his career achievements and 35 years of service to the Bulls organization during a halftime ceremony at the Bulls’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, February 10 at the United Center.
“Johnny Kerr is a Chicago Bulls icon,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “It is only fitting that we salute Johnny and thank him for the many contributions he has made to the Chicago Bulls organization over these past decades. We are pleased to have the opportunity along with 20,000 of our fans to tell Johnny how much we love and appreciate him.”
Kerr, a native of Chicago, has been a part of the Bulls organization in various capacities for 35 of the franchise’s 43 seasons, most notably as a team broadcaster for more than 30 years. He also served as the team’s first head coach in 1966 and earned NBA Coach of the Year honors for the 1966-67 season, when he directed the first-year Bulls to a playoff appearance. Kerr is the only head coach in NBA history to lead an expansion team to the playoffs during its inaugural season. Additionally, he was the franchise’s business manager for two seasons.
As part of the halftime salute, Bulls television play-by-play announcer Neil Funk will emcee the ceremony which will include a video tribute, speeches and appearances from notables such as Jerry Reinsdorf, Jerry Colangelo, Dolph Schayes, Al Bianchi, Jim Durham, Ron Guenther as well as David Stern who will appear via a taped message. The Bulls’ John Paxson and Bob Love will also be in attendance. Others expected to attend include former Bulls’ Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
In tribute to Kerr, the team will wear their red road uniforms and celebrate his life during a number of timeouts. Additionally, while supplies last, fans entering the arena that evening will receive Johnny “Red” Kerr posters which feature a collection of photos and memorabilia from Kerr’s career with the Bulls courtesy of corporate partner Harris Bank.
“I very much appreciate the Bulls hosting a night in my honor,” Kerr said. “Other than my wife and my family, the Chicago Bulls have been the great love of my life. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to thank everyone.”
Kerr starred as a prep at Tilden Tech, collegiately at the University of Illinois and played 12 seasons in the NBA for Syracuse, Philadelphia and Baltimore. The three-time NBA All-Star played in 905 games and averaged 13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg and 2.2 apg in 30.7 mpg during an illustrious career that included an NBA Championship with the Syracuse Nationals during his rookie season. Most remarkable, however, is the fact that Kerr played in 844 consecutive games from 1954 to 1965, setting an NBA record that would stand until Randy Smith broke it in 1983. He is also one of the select NBA players who totaled more than 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds during his career.
Other career achievements include coaching the Phoenix Suns and also holding several administrative positions in both the NBA and ABA. Kerr’s book “Bull Session” was released in 1989 and he holds the title of President of Kerr Financial Services.