NBA legend Bob Lanier died on Tuesday at the age of 73. But his basketball journey is sealed in history as one of the greatest of all time. Considered to be one of the greatest center players in the league’s history, Lanier’s achievements went beyond his time on the court.
Bob Lanier’s historic NBA journey started off at his college in St. Bonaventure, where he averaged 27.6 points and 15.7 rebounds in three seasons. Even though he could not play the regional final due to an injury, Lanier was noticed by NBA drafters.
Detroit Pistons were the first to notice Bob Lanier’s talent and he was claimed as the first overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft, the association’s official website says. After playing a handful of seasons with the Pistons, Lanier moved on and signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he spent the rest of his career.
Lanier played 14 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds for his career. He is third on the Pistons’ career list in both points and rebounds.
He remains the Pistons’ franchise leader in scoring average at 22.7 points per game, beloved in Detroit for both his fierceness and friendliness, according to Associated Press.
Milwaukee Bucks managed to secure five consecutive division titles while Lanier was part of the team. However, the buck stopped there.
In 1980-81 the Bucks fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals; Game 7 was decided by a single point. Two years later the Bucks made it to the conference finals before again bowing to the 76ers. In 1983-84, Lanier’s last year, Milwaukee reached the conference finals once again but were eliminated by the Boston Celtics.
Bob Lanier retired from NBA in 1984 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. He also served as president of the players’ union during the final years of his career.