NBA legend Bob Lanier passes away at 73 after “short illness”

NBA legend Bob Lanier, a pro-basketball Hall of Fame player for the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks passed away at the age of 73-years-old on Tuesday.

A statement from the NBA said that Lanier died after a “short illness” but provided no other details. Lanier does have a history of cancer, but so far neither the NBA nor Lanier’s family has come forward to confirm the cause of death.

Lanier was a powerful figure during his time in the NBA and even after he retired, he continued to do incredible work.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement on Lanier’s passing saying, “For more than 30 years, Bob served as our global ambassador and as a special assistant to David Stern and then me, traveling the world to teach the game’s values and make a positive impact on young people everywhere. It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever been around.”

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took to Twitter to say, “Bob Lanier will always be one of the big men of basketball. Not just because of the size of his body but because of the size of his heart.”

Lanier was a legend in college basketball and the NBA but he truly cemented his legacy working as an ambassador for the NBA.

Few players have had the impact that Lanier had on the NBA and Lanier’s death is without a doubt the loss of an American legend.

Lanier’s time in the NBA earned him eight NBA All-Star nods and enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame in 1992. Lanier would also be inducted into the college basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.