Chicago Bulls' Johnny Kerr, Norm Van Lier Die
February 27, 2009 at 11:49 AM (PT)
Fans of the CHICAGO BULLS are mourning two of the team's most popular figures, both of whom worked in radio and both of whom died THURSDAY.
Johnny Kerr Dead At 76
Longtime BULLS radio and television analyst and former coach JOHNNY "RED" KERR died THURSDAY after a long battle with prostate cancer at 76.
KERR, who played 12 years in the NBA with the SYRACUSE NATIONALS/PHILADELPHIA 76ERS and BALTIMORE BULLETS, was the BULLS' first coach when the club entered the league in 1966-67 and coached the PHOENIX SUNS before moving into the front office of the ABA's VIRGINIA SQUIRES. He rejoined the BULLS in 1973 as Business Manager before joining JIM DURHAM on the team's radio broadcasts.
KERR retired at the end of last season, making some appearances earlier this season on the team's halftime shows; a sculpture of KERR to be displayed at UNITED CENTER was unveiled in a ceremony on FEBRUARY 10th, and he was named as one of 16 finalists for this year's NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME induction class on FEBRUARY 13th.
'Stormin' Norman' Van Lier Dies
Another former BULLS great, NORM VAN LIER, also died on THURSDAY, found dead in his apartment in CHICAGO by firefighters. VAN LIER, who was 61, starred for the BULLS for six seasons and also played for the CINCINNATI ROYALS and MILWAUKEE BUCKS. Most recently part of the BULLS' halftime and postgame shows on COMCAST SPORTSNET, VAN LIER hosted an afternoon show on Sports WMVP-A (ESPN 1000) in the mid-1990s.