Skip to main content

The legend of Bob Lanier

One of the many great big men in NBA history.
Lanier spent his entire career with the Pistons and Bucks

Lanier spent his entire career with the Pistons and Bucks

Earlier today, we have unfortunately learned that NBA legend Bob Lanier passed away at 73 years old after a short disease. One of the greatest big men the NBA has ever seen, Lanier's career and life will not be forgotten.

Bob Lanier's basketball path

Straight out of Buffalo, New York, Lanier's basketball path didn't start as easy as you's think. Despite being bigger than most of his generation, Bob was deemed clumsy and rejected by his high school coach at first. But after working on himself, Lanier would try out again and dominate, becoming one of the most recruited prospects at the time.

Bob would commit to St. Bonaventure University and spend all four years there, becoming a legend and notching numerous All-American awards. Without a doubt, the Pistons took him with the first pick in the 1970 Draft, even though Lanier was nursing a severe knee injury.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

But the risk would pay off, as Lanier would spend 10 great seasons in Detroit, averaging 22.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, and 2.0 bpg. In those years, Lanier played alongside another legend in Dave Bing, but they never managed to get to the end. The constant injuries would impact Lanier and his ability to stay on the court.

After 10 years in Detroit, Bob would get traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kent Benson and spend 5 seasons there before retiring. In his time with the Bucks, Lanier was already in his 30s and past his prime, especially because of the injuries. But Bob still played an important role on those Bucks teams, alongside some great names like Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson.

In the end, Bob Lanier would retire in 1984 at 35 years old, primarily because of the reoccurring injuries that really stopped him from having an even better career. Lanier would finish his career without a ring, but still with 8x All-Star selections, an All-Star game MVP, and All-Rookie honors.

The combination of strength and finesse made Lanier a really tough matchup. Many called him an enforcer, not afraid of anybody, but he still had that smooth left hand and game in the post. Even his rivals admitted that if it wasn't for the knee injuries, Lanier could have been a lot higher on the list of many people.

Steve Kerr reflects on Jason Kidd’s transition from a superstar on the court to one of the top coaches in the league

Steve Kerr reflects on Jason Kidd’s transition from a superstar on the court to one of the top coaches in the league

Kerr notes how players of Kidd's caliber are rarely ever able to make the transition to coaching like Kidd has, making him quite a unique coach

Serge Ibaka reminds players not to sit out too long unless 'you're Kawhi or Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry

Serge Ibaka reminds players not to sit out too long unless 'you're Kawhi or Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry

When Ibaka realized he was out of the rotation after a devastating injury, he was prompted to make a tough decision and set an example to his fellow NBA players

John Salley on Larry Bird vs. Bill Limber fight

John Salley on the Bill Laimbeer vs. Larry Bird fight: "He hit him very legal"

Most people agree that Bill Laimbeer was the one who initiated the brawl with Larry Bird. But John Salley, Bill's former teammate, sees the incident differently.

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen addresses his dirty player reputation ”It's who I am”

Bruce Bowen shares his honest take on being tagged as a dirty player.

stephen-a-smith-patrick-beverly-min

Patrick Beverly goes off on Stephen A. Smith: "You need to be drug tested. Get off the weed man!"

Safe to say, Pat Bev disagreed with Stephen A.'s take regarding James Harden and his possible new max contract.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton’s video game obsession will cost him a lot, on and off the court

DeAndre Ayton's love for video games reduces his sleeping time to two hours on some nights. This isn't good news to fans and the front office that is not keen on giving him a max extension.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler

“I know what I’m capable of” — Jimmy Butler shines the brightest as the Miami Heat draws first blood against the Boston Celtics

After a remarkable 42-point half, the Heat limited the Celtics to shoot just 2 out 15 from the field (13.3%) in the third quarter

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.