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Old 06-22-2007, 12:37 PM   #286
-Slap-
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806
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My center will be the great Bob Lanier.

I knew a quality big man would drop to me if I waited. Bob Lanier was a dominating presence in the NBA for 14 seasons. 6'11", 265 pounds, his size 22 sneakers preceded him into the NBA Hall of Fame as the largest seen in the League up to that point.



The first overall pick in the 1970 Draft, Lanier employed a physical playing style and a deadly left handed hook shot to average 20.1 points and 10.1 boards on his way to eight All Star appearances.

Lanier played his entire career in pain for an inept organization. Despite tearing a knee ligament in the NCAA tournament, the Pistons happily took him with the first pick in the draft, even signing him to his rookie contract while he recuperated from knee surgery in a hospital bed. Feeling pressured to play right away, the Pistons rushed Lanier onto the court. He responded by leading them to their first winning season in 13 years, while playing in all 82 games. His willingness to play hurt was well received in the blue collar town, so was the 14 game improvement over the previous season, and Lanier was loved in Detroit.

Unfortunately, the Pistons were almost incredibly poorly run. During Lanier's 10 seasons in Detroit he played under eight different coaches. "There were always different ideologies," Lanier said, "different philosophies and styles, different players. It was a constant adjustment."

By the time Lanier was traded to a solid Milwaukee team in 1980, chronic knee pain had robbed him of most of his mobility. Perhaps a younger Lanier could have pushed the Bucks of Marques Johnson and Sidney Moncrief past Philly and Boston, but his time as a premier player was just about over.

Although a championship was denied him as a player, Lanier always carried himself like a winner. Few athletes in league history have worked as hard as Lanier has for charitable endeavors. He was almost universally respected. During his final years, Lanier was voted president of the NBA Players Association by his peers.

In 1989, Lanier became involved in the launching of the NBA's Stay In School program, a nationwide campaign in which the NBA and its players urge middle school students to complete their high school education. Lanier became the program's national chairman, visiting hundreds of schools across the country and delivering his famous "PRIDE" message.

Lanier's impact felt on and off the court



Code:
Season  Ag Tm  Lg     G   MP   FG  FGA  3P  3PA   FT  FTA  ORB  DRB  TRB  AST STL BLK  TO  PF  PTS
+------------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
 1970-71 22 DET NBA   82 24.6  6.1 13.5           3.3  4.6            8.1  1.8             3.3 15.6
 1971-72 23 DET NBA   80 38.7 10.4 21.1           4.9  6.3           14.2  3.1             3.7 25.7
 1972-73 24 DET NBA   81 38.9 10.0 20.4           3.8  4.9           14.9  3.2             3.4 23.8
 1973-74 25 DET NBA   81 37.6  9.2 18.3           4.0  5.0  3.3  9.9 13.3  4.2 1.4 3.0     3.4 22.5
 1974-75 26 DET NBA   76 39.3  9.6 18.9           4.8  5.9  3.0  9.1 12.0  4.6 1.0 2.3     3.1 24.0
 1975-76 27 DET NBA   64 36.9  8.5 15.9           4.4  5.8  3.4  8.3 11.7  3.4 1.2 1.3     3.2 21.3
 1976-77 28 DET NBA   64 38.2 10.6 19.8           4.1  5.0  3.1  8.5 11.6  3.3 1.1 2.0     2.7 25.3
 1977-78 29 DET NBA   63 36.7  9.9 18.4           4.7  6.1  3.1  8.2 11.3  3.4 1.3 1.5 3.6 2.9 24.5
 1978-79 30 DET NBA   53 34.6  9.2 17.9           5.2  6.9  3.1  6.2  9.3  2.6 0.9 1.4 3.3 3.4 23.6
 1979-80 31 DET NBA   37 37.6  8.6 15.8 0.0  0.1  4.4  5.7  2.9  7.2 10.1  3.3 1.0 1.6 3.1 3.5 21.7
            MIL NBA   26 28.4  5.7 10.9 0.0  0.0  4.3  5.5  1.7  5.2  6.9  2.4 1.4 1.1 1.9 2.7 15.7
            TOT NBA   63 33.8  7.4 13.8 0.0  0.1  4.4  5.6  2.4  6.3  8.8  2.9 1.2 1.4 2.6 3.2 19.2
 1980-81 32 MIL NBA   67 26.2  5.6 10.7 0.0  0.0  3.1  4.1  1.9  4.3  6.2  2.7 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.7 14.3
 1981-82 33 MIL NBA   74 26.8  5.5  9.9 0.0  0.0  2.5  3.3  1.2  4.0  5.2  3.0 1.0 0.8 2.2 2.9 13.5
 1982-83 34 MIL NBA   39 25.1  4.2  8.5 0.0  0.0  2.3  3.4  1.5  3.6  5.1  2.7 0.9 0.6 2.1 3.2 10.7
 1983-84 35 MIL NBA   72 27.9  5.4  9.5 0.0  0.0  2.7  3.8  2.0  4.4  6.3  2.6 0.8 0.7 2.3 3.2 13.6
+------------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
 14 Seasons          959 33.5  8.1 15.7 0.0  0.0  3.9  5.1  2.6  6.8 10.1  3.1 1.1 1.5 2.6 3.2 20.1
+------------------+----+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+---+---+---+---+----+
The Flying Lithuanians
PG - Dennis Johnson
SG - Jerry West
SF - Rick Barry
PF - Kevin McHale
Co - Bob Lanier
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