By By Norm Van Lier

Publié le par Jean-Marie Tartane

L'ancien logo des Bulls à l'époque Van Lier

Norm van Lier (61) All-Star guard and standout defensive player for the Chicago Bulls in the '70s and later a sports broadcaster in the city. On the same day as the death of former Bulls coach Johnny Kerr, Van Lier was found dead at his home in Chicago, Illinois on February 26, 2009.

Point guard Jersey #(s):
23, 2, 4
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
173 lb (78 kg)
Born: April 1, 1947(1947-04-01)
Died: February 26, 2009 (aged 61)
Career information
Year(s): 1969–1979
NBA Draft: 1969 / Round: 3 / Pick: 5
College: Saint Francis University
Professional team(s)
Career stats
Points     8,770
Rebounds     3,596
Assists     5,217
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
  • 3x NBA All-Star (1974, 1976, 1977)
  • All-NBA (2nd Team) (1974)
  • 3x All-Defensive (1st Team) (1974, 1976, 1977)
  • 5x All-Defensive (2nd Team) (1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1978)

    Norman Van Lier was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, and raised in the Pittsburgh suburb of Midland, Pennsylvania.

    Van Lier was a member of the 1965 Midland High School Leopards, considered by many to be one greatest high school basketball teams of all time, finishing undefeated at 28-0 and easily winning the Pennsylvania State Championship. One of Van Lier's teammates was future NBA player Simmie Hill.[1]

    Van Lier was also a co-captain of his football team, where he played both quarterback and safety. He was recruited to play for several colleges, but none allowed him to play his desired position of quarterback. Van Lier had received offers to play professional baseball as well, after starring on his high school and county all-star teams.[citation needed]

    On June 21, 2008, he was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame. “Western Pennsylvania is football country, but my years are considered the golden era of basketball not only in the state but maybe the country,” said Van Lier that night. “Uniontown, Midland, Schenley and Ambridge could play with anybody, anytime and in any era in the country.”[2]

    [edit] College and NBA Career

    Van Lier's modest 6'1" stature and his emphasis on defense kept him under the radar of stardom, and he was not recruited by major basketball powers. He attended Saint Francis University of Pennsylvania, where he eventually emerged as a standout point guard.

    The Chicago Bulls selected Van Lier in the third round of the 1969 NBA Draft, but immediately traded him to the Cincinnati Royals, with whom he led the NBA in assists in 1971. The Bulls then reacquired Van Lier during the 1971-1972 season, and he remained with the Bulls until 1978, appearing in three All-Star games (1974, 1976, 1977) over the course of six seasons.

    Nicknamed "Stormin' Norman" for his tenacity and aggression, Van Lier was one of the most popular Bulls players of the 1970s. During his ten year career, Van Lier was named to three NBA All-Defense First Teams and five NBA All-Defense Second Teams. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1974. Van Lier was waived by the Bulls in October 1978.[3] After playing briefly with the Milwaukee Bucks, he retired in 1979 with career totals of 8,770 points and 5,217 assists.

    Van Lier held the record for the longest field goal in NBA history (84 feet) for 24 years until Baron Davis broke the record on November 17, 2001 (89 feet).[citation needed]

    [edit] Post NBA Career

    In 1989, Van Lier was the assistant coach of the Worcester Counts in the World Basketball League. From 1992 to 2009, he was a television pre-game and post-game analyst for Chicago Bulls games. He frequently appeared on other Chicago television programs to discuss the Bulls, and at one point co-hosted a sports talk radio show.[2]

    Van Lier also served as a special disc jockey on the Chicago rock music station 97.9 WLUP.[4] In 2002 and 2004, he had supporting roles in the movies Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business.[5]

    Norm Van Lier died on February 26, 2009 after he was found unresponsive in his apartment on Chicago's Near West Side.[6][7] His fellow Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr also died later that day.

    [edit] NBA stats

    Season Team GP MPG RPG APG PPG
    1969-70 Royals 81 35.7 5.0 6.2 9.5
    1970-71 Royals 82 40.5 7.1 10.1 16.0
    1971-72 Royals/Bulls 79 30.6 4.5 6.9 11.5
    1972-73 Bulls 80 36.0 5.5 7.1 13.9
    1973-74 Bulls 80 35.8 4.7 6.9 14.3
    1974-75 Bulls 70 37.0 4.7 5.8 15.0
    1975-76 Bulls 76 39.8 5.4 6.6 12.6
    1976-77 Bulls 82 37.8 4.5 7.8 10.2
    1977-78 Bulls 78 32.4 3.6 6.8 7.3
    1978-79 Bucks 38 14.6 1.1 4.2 2.8
    Career N/A 746 35.1 4.8 7.0 11.8
    broadcaster Norm Van Lier was found dead Thursday afternoon in his home, authorities said.

    He was 61.

    Firefighters went to his home, just blocks from the United Center, to respond to a request for a well-being check. They 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.

    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.

    The three-time All-Star played on five playoff teams.

    Van Lier, from East Liverpool, Ohio, was drafted by Chicago in 1969, but debuted in the league with Cincinnati that year. He later spent more than six seasons with the Bulls before finishing his career with Milwaukee in 1979.

    Van Lier was a defensive standout and a fan favorite who was given the nickname "Stormin' Norman" because of his fiery play. Picked 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.


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