Legendary tennis announcer Bud Collins died Friday at his home in Brookline, Mass., after a battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, the AP reports. He was 86.
Collins had a career in broadcasting going back to 1963, including stints at CBS Sports, NBC Sports, PBS and ESPN. He covered tennis for NBC for 35 years before being let go in 2007 and moving to ESPN.
His longtime NBC broadcast partner and friend Dick Enberg talked with the AP about his early work with the more experienced Collins. “I might be rehearsing or maybe on my first take and he’d say, ‘No, no, that’s not what a tennis reporter would say. Here’s what you really mean,'” Enberg said.
Enberg added: “You could see what NBC was doing, they were sending me over there and if it was successful, I’d be the announcer. He could have just let me go, he didn’t write it. But he didn’t allow that. He wanted tennis to be represented properly.”
The pair soon became Wimbledon fixtures with their “Breakfast at Wimbledon” broadcasts.
Here’s a featurette on Collins posted by the ATP World Tour on the occasion of the dedication of the Bud Collins Media Center at the 2015 U.S. Open …