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Flashback #82: Van Lier, Red Kerr Die (2009)

A detail of a patch in memory of former Bulls coach and announcer Johnny "Red" Kerr as well as former Bulls Player Norm Van Lier. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

A detail of a patch in memory of former Bulls coach and announcer Johnny “Red” Kerr as well as former Bulls Player Norm Van Lier. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.

February 26, 2009 – Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr and Norm Van Lier die

You could say it was one of the darkest days in the history of the Chicago Bulls.

On Feb. 26, 2009, two legends of the Chicago Bulls passed away. Former Bull Norm Van Lier died early in the day at the age of 61. Later in the evening, Johnny “Red” Kerr died after a long battle with prostate cancer at the age of 76.

Van Lier spent seven seasons with the Bulls and was a three-time All-Star while in Chicago. After his 10-year playing career, Van Lier began working as a Bulls analyst for ComcastSportsnet Chicago.

After playing 12 seasons in the NBA, Kerr joined the Bulls’ organization in 1966 as the team’s head coach. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1967. Though he only coached the Bulls for three seasons, he became a fan-favorite.

In 1975, Kerr rejoined the Bulls as the team’s color commentator for TV broadcasts. He remained in the position until the end of the 2007-08 season.

The Bulls honored Kerr for his years of service at a Feb. 10, 2009 halftime ceremony. There, the team unveiled a sculpture of Kerr outside of the United Center. At the ceremony, Kerr was also given the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »