(CTN News) – The NBA said that Bob Lanier, an eight-time All-Star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, passed away on Tuesday. Lanier was 73.
NBA Legend Bob Lanier
In a statement, the NBA said that Lanier, who played in the NBA for 14 years, died after a short illness surrounded by family.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that Bob Lanier was a Hall of Fame player and one of the most talented centers in NBA history, but his impact on the league went far beyond his accomplishments on the court.
During his tenure as president of the National Basketball Players Association, he played a key role in negotiating a game-changing collective bargaining agreement that had a profound impact on the NBA.”
Bob Lanier Retired in 1984 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992
For more than 30 years, Bob Lanier served as the league’s global ambassador, “traveling the world to teach the game’s values and make a positive impact on young people,” Silver said.
His NBA biography describes him as a center with “fluid” movements despite his 6-foot-11 frame. In 1992, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
According to the biography, Bob Lanier was drafted first overall by the Detroit Pistons out of St. Bonaventure in 1970. The 1970-71 NBA season saw him average 15.6 points and make the All-Rookie Team. In 1974, he was named NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player.
“The Detroit Pistons organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Lanier, a true legend who meant so much to generations of Pistons fans,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement Wednesday.