Popular former Chicago Bulls guard and broadcaster Norm Van Lier was found dead in his apartment today. He was 61.
A defensive specialist, Norm was a three-time All-Star and was named to three NBA All-Defense First Teams and five NBA All-Defense Second Teams during his 10 year career.
After his playing career was over, Norm became a popular Chicago area broadcaster and had a supporting role in the 2002 movie Barbershop. In 1989, he was the assistant coach of the Worcester Counts in the World Basketball League.
He even co-hosted a morning radio show on WSCR “The Score” for a time.
But it was his love of the Bulls and his willingness to speak the truth that endeared him to many in Chicago.
Perhaps the equivalent of the Cubs’ Ron Santo in terms of loyalty and love for the Bulls, Norm was recently openly disappointed at not being invited to take part in ceremonies honoring Johnny “Red” Kerr at the United Center.
But that’s just the way he was. He always wore his heart on his sleeve. He was truly a “real” and genuine person, who spoke his mind and was passionate about what he believed in.
To me, it was the way he played the game as I was growing up that I will always remember. For he played the game the right way—always playing hard and getting the most out of his abilities.
And those are the qualities he is best remembered by, come to think of it. RIP Storm.