The Detroit Pistons family and the entire NBA community has suffered a loss.
Former All-Star Bob Lanier, who is Detroit’s all-time leader in scoring average (22.7 ppg), died Tuesday evening at the age of 73.
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame center Bob Lanier, one of the game's great players and statesmen, passed away on Tuesday evening. He was 73 years old.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2022
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has released the following statement:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s statement regarding the passing of Bob Lanier. pic.twitter.com/8GD9BhKt7C
— NBA (@NBA) May 11, 2022
Lanier was the 1st overall NBA Draft pick by the Pistons in 1970, and would later go on to star for Detroit alongside Dave Bing for the next several years. He would average over 21 points a game for the next eight years, and would also be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1971. While with Detroit, Lanier would earn seven All-Star appearances while averaging 22.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 steals.
He was then dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks in February of 1980, with whom he would play another four full seasons. After retirement, he was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. His jersey number would be retired by the Bucks in 1984, followed by the Pistons in 1993. Following his playing career, he’d venture into coaching as an assistant (and later interim head coach) of the Golden State Warriors in the mid-1990’s.
He would remain active in the NBA community, serving as Special Assistant to the Commissioner and as an Ambassador for the NBA Cares Program.