Legendary Jazz Broadcaster ‘Hot Rod’ Hundley Dies at 80

by March 28, 2015

“Hot Rod” Hundley, the former Lakers player and Jazz broadcaster for 35 years, died Friday. He was 80. Hundley became the first radio and TV voice of the expansion New Orleans Jazz in 1974. In 1979, he moved with the team to Salt Lake City, where he broadcast Jazz games until his retirement in 2009.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Hot Rod” Hundley, the beloved voice of the Utah Jazz who guided fans through countless yo-yo dribbles and leapin’ leaners over more than 30 years on the air, died Friday at the age of 80.

 

Hundley’s easy West Virginia sensibilities and unmistakable vocal stylings and phrasings followed the Jazz from their inception in New Orleans in 1974 through 35 seasons, 23 playoff appearances and two trips to the NBA Finals before his retirement in 2009. The legendary voice, who had been dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease for several years, died at his home near Phoenix, surrounded by family.

 

“I have a lot of memories of Hot Rod,” Hall of Fame Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said after news of his longtime friend’s death reached him Friday evening. “There’s probably not enough time to run them all off. But he was a good friend who did a great job doing what he loved doing.”