Former Pistons and Bucks big man Bob Lanier has passed away at the age of 73, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). A cause of death was not disclosed as of this writing.
A 6’11” center, Lanier was selected with the top pick in the 1970 NBA draft by the Pistons, following three All-American seasons at St. Bonaventure. Lanier played for 10 years in Detroit before being traded in 1980 to the Bucks, where he would finish his career after the 1983-84 season.
An eight-time All-Star with the Pistons and Bucks and the 1973/74 All-Star Game MVP, Lanier holds career averages of 20.1 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG, across 959 career regular season games. Lanier was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame as a player in 1992.
Lanier also enjoyed an active career with the NBA long after his playing days had ceased. He served as a president for the NBPA and enjoyed a long career as an ambassador for the league.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement through the league (Twitter link). “For more than 30 years, Bob served as our global ambassador and as a special assistant to [former commissioner] David Stern and then me, traveling the world to teach the game’s values and make a positive impact on young people everywhere,” Silver said in part. “I learned so much from Bob by simply watching how he connected with people. He was a close friend who I will miss dearly, as will so many of his colleagues across the NBA who were inspired by his generosity.”
We at Hoops Rumors extend our deepest condolences to Lanier’s family and friends.