Throwback Thursday - Bob Lanier
Robert Jerry "Bob" Lanier, Jr., born September 10, 1948, in Buffalo, New York. Under coach Fred Szwejbka, he played at Buffalo's Bennett High School, where he graduated in 1966. He then played collegiately at St. Bonaventure University, in Allegany, New York.
Lanier was a three-time Converse All-America selection (1968–1970), and in 1970, he led St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Final Four, however, he was injured late in the regional championship game and did not participate in Bona's national semi-final loss to Artis Gilmore-led Jacksonville University. That year he was named Coach and Athlete Magazine player of the year, and the ECAC Player of the Year.
Lanier was drafted number one overall by the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons and was named to the All-Rookie Team following the 1970-71 season. He starred for Detroit until being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1980. In his five seasons with the Bucks, they won the division championship each year. The same year he retired, in 1984, he was awarded the Oscar Robertson Leadership Award.
In his 14 NBA seasons, Lanier averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting a respectable 51.4 percent from the field. He played in eight NBA All-Star Games, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1974 game. Lanier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and had his #16 jersey retired by both the Pistons and the Bucks.
In 1994-95, he became interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors for 37 games after Don Nelson stood down, in which he compiled a 12-25 win-loss record.
At the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, visitors are able to compare the size of their foot to that of Lanier's.
The basketball court at Lanier's alma mater, St. Bonaventure, is named after him.