Kings, Angels and Clippers announcer David Courtneyâ€™s booming yet pleasant voice was silenced Thursday.
By JOE McDONNELLFS West
LOS ANGELES - David Courtney’s booming yet pleasant voice was silenced Thursday.
The public address announcer for the
Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Clippers died of a pulmonary embolism according to Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News. He was 56 years old.
Born in New York, Courtney came to Los Angeles as a youngster, and attended Beverly Hills High School. He was hired by the Kings in the mid-seventies, serving at various times as an intern, public relations assistant, PR director and finally the arena voice of the team at The Forum and Staples Center.
Courtney missed the Clipper-Minnesota game Wednesday, tweeting that he was "in the hospital waiting for an angiogram.” He died Thursday morning.
Kings’ Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Bob Miller said that the shock of Courtney’s sudden passing hadn’t worn off at all.
"Especially when you consider that it was at such an early age,” Miller said.
"I’ve known David since the 70s when he was an intern with the Kings, then he left to work in Houston (for the minor league Aeros hockey team). He also did some TV work down there, and even though he was very good at it, he wanted to get back to Los Angeles."
Miller reportedly convinced Courtney to return to the team and he returned to become the head of PR.
"After doing PR, he got involved with the public address announcing and it was a great fit. He was a hard worker, got a lot of jobs with teams. He also did traffic reports and sports updates on the various stations around town.
"What I remember most about David was his passion for hockey and for the Kings. That was, I think, his real true love in sports. He liked it so much, I recall, that he became a referee for youth league games. He even went to referees school to learn how to referee hockey.
"He was a fixture around The Forum and Staples Center, and he was the kind of PA announcer who didn’t feel like he had to be the show. He was pretty straightforward in his announcements about what was going on in the game.
"A lot of PA announcers today think they’re the show with all their screaming and hollering and stuff. That wasn’t David. He was what the fans in the Los Angeles area wanted—someone pretty straight down the middle; someone they really liked.”
KCBS and KCAL sports director Jim Hill saw another side of Courtney.
"He helped me out a lot when I first got to town,” Hill said. "Helping me get the lay of the land, so to speak. He was also one of the treasured sports voices in L.A. When you think of certain teams, you think of certain people. That was David and the Kings."
Hall of Fame winger and current team president Luc Robitaille sent out this tribute about Courtney:"David was tremendously passionate about the Kings, our fans and the game of hockey," said Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille in a statement. "His time with the Kings dates back to the mid 1970s both in our PR office as our public relations director and also with work he did in our video department before he took over full-time Public Announcing duties at the Forum and Staples Center. In the arena he was an institution -- he was the voice of the Kings -- and his work added so much to the live, in-game experience for our fans as it did for the Clippers and Angels as well."Next season would have been David's 35th year with our franchise, and on behalf of the entire Kings organization and AEG we are incredibly saddened by this news and we send our deepest condolences to his wife Janet and the rest of the Courtney family."
David had the distinction of being the PA announcer when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup last June and when the Angels won their first World Series title in 2002.
The Halos added the following:
"The Angels family is deeply saddened to hear of David's passing "He was a gentle soul, a consummate professional and an unforgettable voice tied to several professional Southern California sports teams. Over the past 18 years, his love, dedication and passion for the Angels was evident every time his voice rang through the ballpark. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David's family at this difficult time." And the Clippers expressed similar emotions, saying "Today our organization lost a good friend. In his years as public address announcer for Clippers' home games, David Courtney was a consummate professional who brought a unique passion and energy to every event. We are saddened by his passing, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Janet and the rest of his family. David will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched."
Courtney’s long-time friend, Pete Weber, play-by-play voice of the Nashville Predators, is thankful that David got to experience the ultimate reward when the Kings won it all.
"David obviously loved his work,” said Weber, who was Miller’s color analyst with the Kings from 1978-81. "That was so evident to everyone in the building.
"I could tell how much he enjoyed the Kings run to the Stanley Cup and I truly regret that he won’t be there now for the raising of the banner. Nothing would have made him prouder."
Courtney is survived by his wife, Janet. The two were married on October of 2010.