Legendary Bulls announcer was fired after he defied team’s one strict rule when Wizards era Michael Jordan returned to Chicago for first time

Legendary Bulls announcer was fired after he defied team’s one strict rule when Wizards era Michael Jordan returned to Chicago for first time

Ray Clay is a legend in Chicago.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman are intrinsically linked with the dynastic Chicago Bulls of the 1990s but Clay was also an ever-present over the course of their six NBA championships.

Clay was a public address announcer who spent almost thirteen years with the franchise.

He was also the brain – and voice – behind the Bulls and MJ’s iconic introductions that rang out around United Center amidst the backdrop of The Alan Parsons Project instrumental “Sirius.”

Clay’s trademark “Aaaaand now… the starting line-up… for your… Chicago Bulls!”  and “Froooom North Carolina… at guard… 6ft 6in… Michael Jordan” became synonymous with the Bulls’ championship years and made every pre-game introduction must-see TV.

MJ retired for the second time after a second three-peat with the Bulls in 1998.

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Legendary Bulls announcer was fired after he defied team’s one strict rule when Wizards era Michael Jordan returned to Chicago for first time

Joshua Rogers

Published: 15:32, 14 May 2024

Updated: 18:03, 15 May 2024

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Ray Clay is a legend in Chicago.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman are intrinsically linked with the dynastic Chicago Bulls of the 1990s but Clay was also an ever-present over the course of their six NBA championships.

4

MJ’s Bulls won two separate three-peats in the 90sCredit: AFP

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Clay was a public address announcer who spent almost thirteen years with the franchise.

He was also the brain – and voice – behind the Bulls and MJ’s iconic introductions that rang out around United Center amidst the backdrop of The Alan Parsons Project instrumental “Sirius.”

Clay’s trademark “Aaaaand now… the starting line-up… for your… Chicago Bulls!”  and “Froooom North Carolina… at guard… 6ft 6in… Michael Jordan” became synonymous with the Bulls’ championship years and made every pre-game introduction must-see TV.

MJ retired for the second time after a second three-peat with the Bulls in 1998.

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But in 2001 he announced his decision to unretire and play for the Washington Wizards.

As Jordan’s return to the place he once called home beckoned, fans wondered if Clay would announce the franchise legend in the same manner he’d always done.

Clay admitted he wasn’t sure at first but figured most people in attendance would want to hear Mike announced in the same iconic way.

“A print media journalist asked me how I planned on introducing Michael Jordan when he came back to the United Center,” Clay recalled.

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