Former Chicago Bulls guard and broadcaster Norm Van Lier was found dead Thursday afternoon in his home, authorities said.
He was 61.
Firefighters went to his home, which was just blocks from the United Center, to respond to a request for a well-being check. Always punctual, Van Lier didn't appear at a pre-game Wednesday night.
Firefighters found Van Lier unresponsive shortly before 1 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at the scene, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis. The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed his death.
"Stormin' Norman" appeared in three All-Star games during his career with the Bulls in the 1970s. He stayed close to the team after his retirement, and was a popular sports broadcaster as well.
Check out these images of Stormin' Norman through the years. You can read about Van Lier's "most memoraBull" game on the Bulls' Web site.
Firefighters responding to a request for a well-being check found Van Lier unresponsive shortly before 1 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, a Fire Department spokesman said.
Van Lier began his NBA career with Cincinnati in 1969. He later spent more than six seasons with the Chicago Bulls before finishing his career with Milwaukee in 1979.
A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, Van Lier was drafted in 1969 by the Bulls out of Saint Francis College in Pennsylvania, according to Basket-Reference.com. After his three years with the Bulls, he went back to the Bulls before finishing his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Van Lier was a defensive standout and a fan favorite who was given the nickname "Stormin' Norman" because of his fiery play.
Named to the NBA All Defensive First Team or Second Team eight times, he retired after the 1979 season with 8,770 points and 5,217 assists.
Check out this characteristically candid interview with Norm from when he judged a Luvabulls tryouts. He talks about his mom, his career and the one thing in life he always wanted to do, but never got the chance.
Share your memories of Stormin' Norman in the comments below.