DALLAS -- 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.
"We're extremely close and we've always stayed in touch and would get together when he would come in to (Dallas) to do ESPN games.''
Durham, who broadcast Mavs' games from 1993-2001, died at his home in Tomball. An emotional Ortegel, an analyst for Mavs games for FOX Sports Southwest, just wasn't himself Monday.
"An interesting thing is in 1970 I was the assistant coach at Illinois State University, and our play-by-play radio man was Jim Durham,'' Ortegel said. "I've known him for 42 years, so I'm pretty stressed out about the whole thing.
"I've worked easier games than this one tonight, I can tell you that.''
-- Dwain Price
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