One of the NBA’s most notable big men, Bob Lanier, has passed away at the age of 73. Lanier, an eight-time All-Star, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, died Tuesday following a short illness.
After being drafted first overall in 1970, Lanier played 14 NBA seasons, compiling averages of 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds. His pro career began with the Detroit Pistons (1970-80), before finishing with the Milwaukee Bucks (1980-84). He still ranks third in Pistons history in both points and rebounds. Lanier was named MVP of the 1974 All-Star Game.
Though Lanier’s illness wasn’t specified, The Athletic reported in 2019 that the former center was being treated for a form of bladder cancer.
“Bob Lanier was a Hall of Fame player and among the most talented centers in the history of the NBA, but his impact on the league went far beyond what he accomplished on the court,” Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, said in a statement released by the league.
Pistons legend Bob Lanier passes away at age 73.
Rest easy, Big Dobber. pic.twitter.com/uGlonVyuBN
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) May 11, 2022
Following his playing career, Lanier briefly coached in the NBA. He was an assistant with Golden State during the 1994-95 season and served as the team’s interim coach after Don Nelson resigned. Over 37 games, the Lanier-led Warriors compiled a 12-25 record.
He then moved onto a role within the league office under then-commissioner David Stern that continued throughout Silver’s tenure. “For more than 30 years, Bob served as our global ambassador and as a special assistant to David Stern and then me, traveling the world to teach the game’s values and make a positive impact on young people everywhere,” added Silver. “It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever been around.”
OutKick extends our condolences and continued thoughts and prayers to the Lanier family.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF