Bob Lanier, who was a center for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970s and ’80s, parlayed a deft left hand fisherman, a soft midrange jumper and strong rebounding skills into the Hall of Fame position , died Tuesday in Phoenix. He is 73.
The NBA said he died after a brief illness but had no other details.
Lanier, who stood 6-foot-11 and weighed about 250 pounds, performed well at the time of the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Thurmond and Wes Unseld.
“Men do not change teams much, so when you are facing the Bulls or the Bucks or New York, you have all these challenges,” he told NBA.com in 2018. “Lanier left. Jabbar! Jabbar against Willis Reed! And then Chamberlain and Artis Gilmore and Bill Walton! You have all these big men, and this game was played from the inside out. “
He added: “It’s the rougher, more physical sport we played in the 70s. You can bring people with elbows. They started cutting the number of fights by penalizing more people. Oh, it’s a rough ‘n’ tumble game. “
As a Pistons rookie in the 1970-71 season, Lanier shared time in the middle with Otto Moore. In his second season, as a full-time starter, he averaged 25.7 points and 14.2 rebounds per game, placing him in the top 10 leagues in both groups.
“He understands the ins and outs of the game,” Dave Bing, a friend of the Pistons and friends of the Hall of Famer, said in the Lanier’s video shown on Fox Sports Detroit in 2012. “He came “Can shoot 18-to-20-footer. Just like a guard. He has a shotgun – no one but Kareem has a gun like him. He can do whatever he wants.”
Lanier wore what was believed to be a large 22 sneakers. In 1989, however, representatives of Converse challenged the notion, claiming that they were in fact a large 18 ½. No matter how big they are, a pair of Lanier’s sneakers, bronzed, are in the collection at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
In nine seasons with the Pistons, Lanier played in seven All-Star Games. He was selected as the highlight of the 1974 All-Star Game, in which he took all the points with 24 points.
But the Pistons only had four wins during his time with the team and have never gone too far in the game. The list is usually in flux. Coaches come and go. Lanier deals with knee injuries and other physical problems.
“It looks like life is not complete,” he told Fox Sports Detroit.
In the early 1980s, with the Pistons record of 14-40, the team transferred Lanier to the Milwaukee Bucks for the youth center, Kent Benson, and the first choice 1980s. Clearly, Lanier was asked to refer to the candidate.
“I’m happy, but I’m very happy,” he told the Detroit Free Press.
Lanier averaged 22.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game with the Pistons.
Robert Jerry Lanier Jr. was born September 10, 1948, in Buffalo to Robert and Nannie Lanier. Young Bob was 6-foot-5 at the time he was a sophomore in high school, and he played well enough in the wooed through twelve colleges. He chose St. Bonaventure University is located in upstate Allegany, NY
It was desirable to be there, averaging 27.6 points and 15.7 rebounds over three seasons.
In 1970, the Bonnies defeated Villanova to win the East Regional finals of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, sending them to the Final Four. But Lanier injured his knee during the game, forcing the Bonnies to face Jacksonville in the national semifinal game without him. St. Bonaventure fell, 91-83.
“I did not know when I pulled my knee,” Lanier told Buffalo News in 2007. “But when I ran back into the courtroom and tried to pivot, I was paralyzed. I do not know when. the moment I torn my MCL “
Lanier also underwent knee surgery when the Pistons chose him No. 1 all in NBA standards; he was also elected No. 1 from the New York (now Brooklyn) Nets of the American Basketball Association. He soon signed with Detroit.
Although he had a good year with the Pistons, Lanier enjoyed a lot of team success with the Bucks (and still played in an extra All-Star Game). Under Coach Don Nelson, the Bucks won 60 games during 1980-81, and they advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in 1982-83 and 1983-84.
Lanier also served as president of the National Basketball Players Association, and helped negotiate a 1983 contract agreement that avoids protests.
Early in the 1983-84 season, his last as an athlete, Lanier got mad at Bill Laimbeer, Pistons’ center, for riling him in the boards of Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. Lanier retaliated with a left hook that leveled Laimbeer as well. smashed his nose.
The law not only fined Lanier $ 5,000; He also took a break from his shirt No.
He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
During his retirement, he owned a company and worked extensively with the NBA as a global representative and special assistant to David Stern, longtime league leader, and Adam Silver, his director. Lanier also coached Nelson with the Golden State Warriors during 1994-95 and replaced him as a part-time coach for the final 37 seasons after Nelson resigned.
Information about the survivors is not immediately available.
Lanier said that after his retirement, he was less recognized by the public than when he was an athlete. After Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most important leagues, came up in the early 1990s, people thought he should be O’Neal’s father, he told NBA.com in 2018.
“‘You wear big shoes for them,” he said people would tell him. “I just went with him. ‘Yes, I am Shaq’s father.’