What they're saying: Bob Lanier had 'positive impact on young people everywhere'

The Detroit News
Bob Lanier (16) of the Pistons keeps his eye on the basket as he starts a left-handed hook over Connie Dierking of the 76ers during the first half of their game in Philadelphia in 1970.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver was among the first to pay tribute to former Detroit Pistons legend Bob Lanier, who died on Tuesday at age 73.

Silver said Lanier was among the most talented centers in league history, third all-time in both points and rebounds with the Pistons and that his accomplishments went far beyond what he did 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,” Silver said in a statement.

“It was a labor of love for Bob, who was one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever been around.”

Hall of Famer and NBA analyst Charles Barkley said Lanier was a "gentle giant, always in a good mood and a wonderful man who will be missed."