NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier dies at 73: Bob Lanier, a Dominant Center of the 1970s and ’80s, Dies at 73

Playing for the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks, he held his own against titans of the era like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Willis Reed

Bob Lanier, who as a center for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970s and ’80s parlayed a deft left-handed hook shot, a soft midrange jumper and robust rebounding skills into a Hall of Fame career, died on Tuesday in Phoenix. He was 73

The N.B.A. said he died after a short illness but provided no other details

Lanier, who stood 6-foot-11 and weighed about 250 pounds, excelled in an era of dominant centers like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Thurmond and Wes Unseld

“Guys didn’t change teams as much, so when you were facing the Bulls or the Bucks or New York, you had all these rivalries,” he told NBA.com in 2018

“Lanier against Jabbar! Jabbar against Willis Reed! And then Chamberlain and Artis Gilmore and Bill Walton! You had all these great big men, and the game was played from inside out.”

He added: “It was a rougher game, a much more physical game that we played in the ’70s. You could steer people with elbows. They started cutting down on the number of fights by fining people more. Oh, it was a rough ’n’ tumble game.”

As a Pistons rookie in the 1970-71 season, Lanier shared time at center with Otto Moore. In his second season, as a full-time starter, he averaged 25.7 points and 14.2 rebounds a game, putting him in the league’s top 10 in both categories

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