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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's statement regarding the passing of Bob Lanier

With a sweeping left-hand hook and a dominating inside presence, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier was one of the most feared big men of his era.

Bob Lanier averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds in his 14 NBA seasons.

NEW YORK — Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and longtime NBA Global Ambassador Bob Lanier passed away earlier today at the age of 73 following a short illness. He was surrounded by his family.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following 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.

“I learned so much from Bob by simply watching how he connected with people. He was a close friend who I will miss dearly, as will so many of his colleagues across the NBA who were inspired by his generosity. We send our deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends.”