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Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Stormin" Norman Van Lier Dead at 61

There is sad and shocking news out of Chicago this afternoon: Norm Van Lier, the popular Bulls broadcaster who teamed up with Jerry Sloan to form an All-Star, defensive minded backcourt for the Bulls in the early 1970s, has passed away at the age of 61. No cause of death has been officially released.

Van Lier played 10 NBA seasons for three teams (Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee). He led the NBA in assists in 1970-71 as a Cincinnati Royal and he ranked in the top ten in assists nine times. He ranked in the top ten in steals three times (steals did not become an official statistic until his fifth season). Van Lier made the All-Star team three times (1974, 1976-77) and received his only All-NBA Second Team selection in 1973-74, largely on the strength of his defensive play (he averaged 14.3 ppg that season). He made the All-Defensive First Team three times (1974, 1976-77) and earned five All-Defensive Second Team selections (1971-73, 1975, 1978). He received MVP votes in four different seasons, finishing as high as ninth in the balloting (1974).

Van Lier has been a Bulls broadcaster for ComcastSportsnet Chicago for many years but after he did not show up for Wednesday night's postgame show a Chicago Fire Department squad made a wellness check at his residence early Thursday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene, shortly before 1 p.m. local time.

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posted by David Friedman @ 5:53 PM



At Thursday, February 26, 2009 7:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norm gave his heart and soul to the Bulls, not sure they ever returned the favor. His number should be in the rafters.

At Friday, February 27, 2009 11:01:00 AM, Blogger madnice said...

His number should definitely be retired. Since League Pass came out 10 years ago (wow that fast) I enjoyed Van Liers analysis of the Bulls and him telling it like it is. I like how he had the ill ear ring in his ear in his 50s. The original Stormin Norman.


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