R.I.P, Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr

by February 27, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

It’s been a terrible week for the Chicago Bulls franchise, even more so than usual. The team continues to be awful, and its legends are dying.

Mere hours after Norm Van Lier’s death was announced yesterday, it was the legendary Johnny “Red” Kerr’s turn to shuffle off of this mortal coil.

From the Sun-Times:

The saddest day in the 43-year history of the Bulls concluded late Thursday night with the passing of team legend Johnny Kerr. Kerr, 76, died at approximately 9:50 p.m. at his west suburban Riverside home surrounded by family after a year-long battle with prostate cancer. His death came hours after the announcement of the unexpected death of all-time Bulls point guard Norm Van Lier.

‘‘He was the world’s most wonderful brother and a godsend to basketball and the city of Chicago,’’ sister Joanie Kerr said late Thursday evening. ‘‘I was so proud of him, from the time we were little kids down on South May. I looked up and admired him, not just because he was 6-foot-9, but because he was such an outstanding man. He was a man who was raised without a father, who went out and made something great of himself and who brought so much joy and laughter to the lives of so many people. I am very sad right now, but I am so thankful that at least his suffering is over.’’

Kerr, arguably the most beloved personality in franchise history, is survived by his five children (and ten grandchildren), and Bulls fans everywhere who consider him a part of their own families.