Norm Van Lier: 1947-2009

Bulls legend found dead in his home

The Bulls organization and fans everywhere received some somber news on Thursday afternoon when word spread of former player and broadcaster Norm Van Lier had passed away at the age of 61.  Van Lier was found dead at his home near the United Center around 1pm on Thursday afternoon after the Chicago Fire Department had been called to his home for a "well-being" check.

Whether or not you are old enough to remember "Stormin' Norman's" playing career that spanned from 1969 to 1979, including six years in a Bulls uniform between 1971 and 78, or if all your memories of Van Lier are from his time as a analyst, if you're a Bulls fan, you were more than familiar with him.

Norm wouldn't have had it any other way.  Whether he was on the court or sitting behind a desk, he made sure to get his point across because that was the only way he knew to live.  Whether he or Jerry Sloan were imposing their will on opponents during some lean years for the Bulls, or whether Norm was letting Bulls fans know just how bad the teams were after the dynasty broke up, he never gave less than 100%.

I know that for myself, Van Lier was always a favorite growing up watching the Bulls on television, and his attitude on the set and his sense of humor were infectious.  Sure, those Bulls teams were pretty bad for most of Van Lier's tenure as an analyst, but his zeal for the team actually made you care whether you wanted to or not.

Those who knew him, loved him. Those who played against him, respected him. Those who watched him, learned from him.  All will miss him.

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