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Hall Of Famer And Detroit Pistons Legend Bob Lanier Passes Away Aged 73

Hall Of Famer And Detroit Pistons Legend Bob Lanier Passes Away Aged 73

The NBA world was rocked by some tragic news on Tuesday night when news filtered out that Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame center Bob Lanier had passed away.

The Athletic had reported back in 2019 that Lanier was being treated for bladder cancer and the NBA stated that he died after a short illness.

The big man had an illustrious 14-year career with the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks, during which he averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. After being drafted first overall by the Pistons in 1970, Lanier would go on to be an 8-time All-star and would also win the All-Star game MVP in 1974.

He first made a name for himself and made waves in the basketball world when he led St. Bonaventure to the Final Four in 1970, but he, unfortunately, could not play in those games due to a knee injury. The injury problems would persist for Lanier throughout his career, but he battled through them and has gone down as one of the all-time greats of the game. 

Post-retirement, Lanier served as a global ambassador for the league for over 30 years, and commissioner Adam Silver released a statement in his honor.

"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." "I learned so much from Bob by simply watching how he connected with people."

Lanier was one of the more beloved figures on the NBA circuit so it was no surprise that the entire Inside the NBA panel had fond memories to share of the great man.

Ernie Johnson mentioned that Charles Barkley had brought it up previously that Lanier had been struggling with his health. Barkley then went on to describe him as the epitome of a gentle giant who will be missed and Shaq further echoed those sentiments.

His absence will be greatly felt by the NBA family, which lost one of its best human beings. May his soul now Rest In Peace.