Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier died Tuesday after a short illness, the NBA said. He was 73 years old.

Lanier, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA until his retirement in 1984, averaged 20.1 points per game in 959 appearances.

The 10-10-inches center spent the first decade of his career with the Detroit Pistons before joining the Milwaukee Bucks for the 1979-80 campaign, where he would play five seasons.

The 10-10-inches center spent the first decade of his career with the Detroit Pistons before joining the Milwaukee Bucks for the 1979-80 campaign, where he would play five seasons.

Lanier served as the NBA's global ambassador after his retirement and was president of a league-backed initiative that encouraged children to stay in school.

He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1992, while his Jersey No. 16 has been pulled by the Pistons and Bucks.

"It was a labour of love for Bobby, who was one of the best and most sincere people I've ever been with," Silver added.