The Detroit Pistons have announced their plans to honor the life and legacy of Bob Lanier this season. Detroit will wear a stripe with the number 16 on the top right of their jersey for the duration of the season. And in addition, the team will host a Bob Lanier tribute night on January 23rd, when the Pistons host the Bucks. Before Cade Cunningham, the Pistons last number one pick was in 1970, when they took Bob Lanier. The big man out of St. Bonaventure University was an 8-time All-Star , 7 of those seasons in Detroit. Lanier averaged 20 points per game and 10.1 rebounds throughout his career, and 2 blocks per game as a Piston.
Of his 15 NBA Seasons, 10 of them were with the Pistons. He was one of the franchise players throughout the 70’s, and was a mainstay in the Motor City. Lanier was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, and had his jersey retired in 1993. Bob Lanier was a great in his time in Detroit and Milwaukee. However, Lanier played his best years with the Pistons. And at his best, he was one of the best bigs in his era in an era that was also full of dominant bigs like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and Wilt Chamberlain.
Not only was Lanier an All-American and All Star player, he also was a game ambassador. After retiring, Lanier went on to serve on the coaching staff of the Golden State Warriors. But after his tenure, he stepped in as a global ambassador of NBA Cares. This involved numerous efforts with youth organizations, family development, and supporting education. His life was a dedication to the game of basketball, and using the game to better the lives of others and strengthen communities. He represented the league, but also represented the Pistons through it all. And because of it, he will be honored throughout the season by the Pistons. And that tribute is deservingly so.
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