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Bob Lanier, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame center and former No. 1 overall pick, dies at 73

In the middle of the NBA playoffs, sad news emerged Tuesday night with the death of a legend. Bob Lanier, who played 14 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, has died aged 73.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver posted the following statement.

“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 what he accomplished on the court. . For over 30 years, Bob has been our global partner. Ambassador and Special Assistant to [former commissioner] David Stern and then me, traveling the world teaching the values ​​of the game and positively impacting young people around the world.

“It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. His enormous influence on the NBA was also evident during his time as president of the National Basketball Players Association, where he played. a key role in the negotiation of a revolutionary collective agreement.

“I learned so much from Bob just watching how he connected with people. He was a close friend who I will dearly miss, as will so many of his NBA colleagues who were inspired by his generosity. We send our deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends. »

Lanier was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1970 draft, and he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds for his career. He also served on the voting committee for the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, which was announced last October.

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