Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, a star for the Detroit Pistons in the 1970s and the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1980s, died Tuesday at 73.
The NBA announced the news, stating that Lanier died after a brief illness.
An eight-time All-Star, Lanier was the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player in 1974. He had a 14-season NBA career and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
He averaged 20.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 blocks in 959 career games for the Pistons (1970-71 to 1979-80) and the Bucks (1979-80 to 1983-84).
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement: "Bob Lanier was a Hall of Fame player and among the most talented centers in the history of the NBA, but his impact on the league went far beyond what he accomplished on the court. For more than 30 years, Bob served as our global ambassador and as a special assistant to David Stern and then me, traveling the world to teach the game's values and make a positive impact on young people everywhere. It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever been around.
"His enormous influence on the NBA was also seen during his time as president of the National Basketball Players Association, where he played a key role in the negotiation of a game-changing collective bargaining agreement."
Lanier helped St. Bonaventure advance to the 1970 Final Four, and he was enshrined in the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
He served as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors in 1994-95, then led the Warriors to a 12-25 record as interim head coach the next season, following Don Nelson's resignation.
--Field Level Media