Friday, February 27, 2009

R.I.P. Johnny "Red" Kerr

The world of Chicago Bulls basketball is reeling. Not only was Norm Van Lier found deceased yesterday, but Johnny "Red" Kerr lost his battle with prostate cancer yesterday. While Johnny's death was expected, that doesn't make it any less of a tragedy. His death came mere hours after the discovery of Norm Van Lier.

I can't think of another day in Chicago sports history where two people so intertwined in the fabric of a team died within hours of one another in unrelated circumstances. At least Johnny was able to hold on long enough for a public tribute to him on February 10, 2009. He was given the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement award at a halftime ceremony that day.

In his first year of coaching, Johnny led the first year Bulls franchise to a playoff berth. In doing so, the Bulls became the first team to make the playoffs in their inaugural year. As a result of that magical first season, Johnny won the NBA Coach of the Year in 1967.

On a day where the current Bulls player were meeting with President Obama, two Chicago Bulls legends quietly slipped away. While this is a great day of mourning in Chicago, we should be grateful that we allowed both of them to become so dear to our hearts. Somewhere, yesterday, Norm Van Lier was awaiting Johhny "Red" Kerr's arrival with a hand full of talcum powder.

5 comments:

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Well said. I also posted about it. I love your closing line

White Sox Cards said...

Actually, your site is the first place I heard the news.

deal said...

Was Kerr also a Bulls Broadcaster. I think I met his son in a Philadelphia area Bar a few years back. He was a real good guy.

Andy said...

How can you be so sure that the circumstances of their deaths were unrelated? We may have a serial killer on our hands.

White Sox Cards said...

Yes, Kerr did a lot of broadcasting with the Bulls over the years.

Andy, I'm putting you on the case. You may be on to something.

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