Dave Bing Hails Bob Lanier's Hook Shot as Nearly Unmatched by Anyone But Kareem

Exploring the enduring legacy of an NBA giant.

by Nouman Rasool
Dave Bing Hails Bob Lanier's Hook Shot as Nearly Unmatched by Anyone But Kareem
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In the golden age of basketball, where titans like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated the courts, Bob Lanier's exceptional prowess often doesn't receive the recognition it deserves. Despite a stellar 14-year NBA journey marked by an 8-time All-Star status and impressive averages of 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, Lanier remains one of the era's most underappreciated centers.

His contributions to the game, however, are not lost on those who played alongside him or against him. Dave Bing, a former teammate of Lanier's with the Detroit Pistons, holds Lanier in high esteem, placing him on par with the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in terms of skill and impact on the game.

"He could shoot the 18-to-20-footer as well as any guard," Bing remarked, highlighting Lanier's versatility and mastery over the nuances of basketball. "His hook shot was unparalleled, rivaled only by Kareem's. Lanier had the capability to dominate the game in any way he chose."

Lanier's Timeless Dominance

Lanier's never-dipping performance never averaging single digits in points underlines his consistent value to his team.

His influence extended beyond his own era, earning respect from future generations of NBA stars like Isiah Thomas, who admired Lanier's competitive spirit and his role as an enforcer on the court. Isiah Thomas, recalling an encounter with the 6'11" center, shared a memorable moment that encapsulated Lanier's dominance.

"I remember Lanier grabbing me mid-air during a game, setting me down gently, and warning me to steer clear of his domain," Thomas said. "His presence in the paint was so commanding that it forced me to adjust my game. Lanier was the quintessential enforcer, patrolling the paint with authority that commanded respect from all." While Lanier's career lacked the crowning glory of an NBA championship, his legacy as a quintessential big man in basketball's storied history is undeniable.

His prowess and influence on and off the court have left an indelible mark on the game, a testament to his exceptional talent and understanding of basketball's intricacies. As the sports world continues to evolve, the legend of Bob Lanier, as one of the most skilled and respected centers of his time, ensures that his contributions will not be forgotten.