On this day in 1993, the Detroit Pistons retire Bob Lanier’s No. 16 jersey during a back-down-memory-lane ceremony held at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Lanier, an All-Star center known as “The Dobber,” played for the Pistons between 1970 and 1980, arguably the most popular Piston of that era. He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kent Benson in 1980.
In his 14 NBA seasons, Lanier averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting a respectable 51.4 percent from the field. He played in eight NBA All-Star games, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1974 game.
Lanier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.