American basketball star and sports broadcaster NORM VAN LIER has been found dead at his home in Chicago, Illinois, aged 61.
Firefighters went to Van Lier's home on Thursday (26Feb09) in response to a request for a well-being check by staff at Comcast SportsNet after he failed to show up for work on Wednesday (25Feb09) night.
He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m., a Chicago Fire Department spokesperson said.
The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed the sad news, but didn't give any details about the cause of death.
Van Lier, dubbed Stormin' Norman by his loyal fans, was a three-time All-Star player and standout guard for the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Chicago Bulls team.
He played there for over six seasons and earned the third spot in leading career assists and steals - ranking behind basketball greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Van Lier finished his career with Milwaukee in 1979 and began covering the Bulls as a TV and radio analyst in the Chicago area.
In 2002 he also had a supporting role in movie comedy Barbershop, starring rapper Ice Cube, in which he played a customer.
He is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Hilary and Heidi, and one granddaughter.