Van Lier, the fiercely competitive Bulls guard best known for teaming with Jerry Sloan in one of the NBA's toughest backcourts, was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. He was 61. The cause of death was not released, pending a report by the Cook County Medical Examiner.To read the complete article, go to this page on ChicagoTribune.com.
Comcast colleague Mark Schanowski said Van Lier had "different health issues the last few years that sapped him of his energy," but a change in medication seemed to have perked him up.
"He was turning the corner health-wise, getting his energy back—he said it was the best he'd felt in a long time," Schanowski said.
News of his death was a shock to friends, colleagues and former teammates, who recalled Van Lier bringing the same work ethic and passion he had as a player to broadcasting.
"Everyone in the building does an impersonation of Norm saying, 'Forty-eight minutes of intensity,' " Schanowski said. "He believed that every moment you were wearing that Chicago Bulls uniform, you had to leave it all on the court . He couldn't accept some of today's privileged athletes who felt they could coast. It offended his sensibilities. He was not going to have it."
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