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YouTube Gold: Bob Lanier

Detroit’s finest.

Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
 MILWAUKEE - 1974: Bob Lanier #16 of the Detroit Pistons posts up against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar #33 of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game played in 1974 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 
Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Bob Lanier, who passed away earlier this month, was one of the best big men of all time.

Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1948, Lanier was a contemporary of Mike Krzyzewski’s and their collegiate playing time overlapped.

Their lives after college diverged. Coach K became, well, a coach, while Lanier became a Piston.

At the time he seemed like an enormous player at 6-10 and 250, more or less the size of Paolo Banchero.

Unlike Banchero, Lanier was strictly a power post player. He was never a great athlete but he had a very refined game featuring a beautiful hook shot.

Knee problems slowed Lanier down and pursued him nearly to the end: he had his last knee procedure in 2017.

He’d probably have trouble succeeding today, given what 6-10 guys are expected to do, but in his day, he was one of the very best in the game.

Fun trivia: Lanier wore a size 22 shoe.