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NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier dies at 73

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The left-handed big man Bob Lanier who was one of the NBA top players of the 1970s, died on Tuesday. He was 73.

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The NBA said Lanier died after a short illness. Bob had worked for the league as a global ambassador and in 2019 Lanier was being treated for bladder cancer.

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Lanier played 14 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds for his career. 

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Lanier is third on the Pistons' career list in both points and rebounds. Detroit drafted Lanier with the No. 1 pick in 1970 after he led St. Bonaventure to the Final Four.

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NBA Commissioner said the Lanier was the most talented centers in league history, and said that his accomplishments went far beyond what he did on the court.

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At 250 pounds, Lanier was considered a big man during his time and he used that bulk to his advantage.

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Lanier went into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. But his boat-size shoes got there ahead of him, with a display of his bronzed sneakers in the shrine.

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He was known for wearing size 22 shoes, although that was disputed in 1989 by a Converse representative, who told The Atlanta Constitution that Lanier wore size 18 1/2.

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Lanier overcame a litany of orthopedic injuries, dealing with shoulder, back, elbow, hand and toe problems during his career