NBA ambassador Bob Lanier, Hall of Famer, dies at 73

Shaq, Kenny, Ernie and Charles share some fond memories of the late Bob Lanier.

Bob Lanier, the huge left-handed man alongside the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the NBA’s best players of the ’70s, passed away on Tuesday. He was 73 years old.

The National Basketball Association said Lanier died after a short illness. The Hall of Famer served in the league as a global ambassador. the athlete It was reported in 2019 that Lanier was being treated for bladder cancer.

Lanier played 14 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds during his career. He ranks third on the Pistons career roster in both points and balls. She drafted Detroit Lanier with the #1 overall pick in 1970 after driving St. Bonaventure to Final Four.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Lanier was among the most talented positions in league history and added that his accomplishments far exceeded what he did on the field.

“For more than 30 years, Bob has served as a global ambassador and special assistant to David Stern and then Lee, traveling the world teaching the values ​​of the game and making a positive impact on young people everywhere,” Silver said in a statement. “It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the kindest and most authentic people I have ever had.”

Dave Bing, who collaborated with Lanier in Detroit from 1970 to 1975, said in a statement from the Pistons, “It was sad to hear of Bob’s death yesterday. I have many wonderful memories of Bob, both as a teammate and as a friend. I have been fortunate to have I played with him as a member of the Pistons and played up a long-standing friendship with him. Bob will be sorely missed.”

The Bucks also released a statement praising Blanier for his contributions on and off the court.

“Bob Lanier was the all-time great Milwaukee Buck and Hall of Famer, whose retired number 16 was hanging from the rafters at the Fiserv Forum,” Bucks said in a statement. “But even more than his basketball success, which included being an All-Star in 1982, Bob was one of the most popular players with Bucks fans and is known throughout the community for his generosity and kindness. We send our deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends.”

Lanier went to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. But his boat-size shoes were right there in front of him, with his bronze sneakers on display at the shrine.

He was known to wear a size 22 shoe, although that was disputed in 1989 by a Converse representative, who told the Atlanta Constitution that Lanier was wearing a size 18 1/2.

“The size 22 he was famous for wearing was a Korean size,” said shoe representative Gary Stocken.

The quite obvious fact was that his feet were huge and were unobtrusive.

“A lot of people can put both feet in one of my shoes,” Lanier told HOOP.

Born on September 10, 1948, in Buffalo, New York, Lanier starred in college at St. Bonaventure, averaging 27.6 points and 15.7 rebounds in three seasons. Bonnie reached the fourth final in 1970, but Lanier injured his knee in the regional final, and Saint Bonaventure lost in the national semifinals to Jacksonville.

Lanier has overcome a string of orthopedic injuries, dealing with shoulder, back, elbow, hand, and toe issues throughout his career. But this did not prevent him from getting his place among the best NBA positions of his time. After being named to the junior team in 1971, he averaged at least 21 points and 11 rebounds for each of the following seven seasons. Lanier was an eight-time All-Star and MVP in the 1974 All-Star Game.

Lanier can defeat opponents from inside and outside while ruling councils. Although Abdul-Jabbar had a more famous hook shot, Lanier’s hook was a great weapon.

“The guys didn’t change teams much, so when you were up against the Bulls or the Bucks or the New Yorkers, you had all of these competitions,” Lanier told NBA.com in 2018. “Lanner vs. Mighty! Mighty vs. Willis Reed! Then (Wilt) Chamberlain, Artis Gilmore, Bill Walton! You had all these big guys and the match was played from the inside out.”

Bob Lanier was retired from his jersey by the Pistons in 1993.

As exceptional as Lanier was, the Pistons only won one playoff series with him. He played 64 games or fewer in each of his last four seasons with Detroit. In February 1980, it was traded in Milwaukee.

Lanier averaged fewer minutes with the Bucks, but was part of the Milwaukee teams that reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 1983 and 1984, the last two seasons of his career.

He also served as president of the players’ union during the later years of his career, with Silver saying he played a “key role in negotiating a game-changing collective bargaining agreement”.

Lanier was Detroit’s career leader in points and rebounds before was surpassed by Isaiah Thomas and Bill Laimbere in those categories, and Dennis Rodman topped his one-game franchise record of 33 rebounds.

In 1995, Lanier was assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, then took up temporary coaching after Don Nelson’s resignation. Lanier went 12-25, and the Warriors found another coach after the season.

Lanier won the J. Walter Kennedy NBA Citizenship Award for the 1977-78 season for Outstanding Community Service. Following his playing career, he helped start the NBA’s Stay-to-School campaign and was involved in other outreach activities for the league.

“There’s a great need here,” Lanier said. “When you travel to different cities and different countries, you see that there are so many people in such dire straits that the NBA can’t do much. We make a big, vast difference, but there is always so much to do.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: