Bulls Man Johnny "Red" Kerr Dies

Bulls fans face double whammy with Kerr, Van Lier deaths

Friday, Feb 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:20 PM CDT
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Bulls Honor Kerr

Johnny "Red" Kerr died Thursday at the age of 76.

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Johnny "Red" Kerr on Career in Basketball

Kerr gets emotional, then humorous when talking about his career in basketball during a March, 2005 interview on WTTW.

Bulls Honor Kerr

Johnny "Red" Kerr, the Bulls first coach and longtime announcer was honored earlier this month by the team who has been such an integral part of his life.
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Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson says he is filled with sadness as he remembers Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Kerr, the Chicago Bulls' first head coach, died Thursday at age 76. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.

Kerr's death came on the same day that the body of Norm Van Lier was found in his home near the United Center. Van Lier, one of the most popular players in Bulls history, was 61.

Bulls' chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said Kerr's name was synonymous with Chicago basketball.

The Bulls unveiled a statue of Kerr at the United Center during an emotional ceremony earlier this month that included taped messages from President Barack Obama and commissioner David Sternand speeches from Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.

In a statement, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan called Kerr a "tremendous person" who gave him the confidence to play in the NBA.

Sloan and Kerr were teammates for one season and Kerr was later his coach with the Bulls.

Kerr coached the Bulls to the playoffs in their inaugural 1966-67 season and spent more than 30 years calling their games.

Services have been set for next week.

Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, from 2 to 9 p.m. at Chapel Hill Gardens West Funeral Home, at 17W201 Roosevelt Road, in Oakbrook Terrace.

Funeral services will be held at the funeral home Thursday at 11 a.m.

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