Lanier was a three-time Converse All-America selection (1968-1970. In 1970, he led St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Final Four. He was injured late in the regional championship game, however, and did not participate in the Bonnies' national semi-final loss to Artis Gilmore-led Jacksonville University. That year he was named Coach and Athlete Magazine player of the year, and the ECAC Player of the Year.
In 9+ seasons in Detroit, Lanier became the Pistons' all-time leader in scoring average (22.7 ppg) and ranked second in points (15,488) and rebounds (8,063). But when the Pistons were suffering through the worst season in their history, their leading man was granted a trade, and Milwaukee was the beneficiary, acquiring Lanier for Kent Benson and a first-round pick on February 4, 1980.
Lanier provided veteran leadership to a team that would average 53 wins during his four-plus seasons. He provided scoring (13.5), rebounding (5.9) and leadership on the court, including a willingness to endure the pain of worsening knees. Lanier was a leader off the court as well, serving as the President of the NBA Players Association during the end of his playing tenure.
The Bucks amassed divisional titles in each of Lanier’s five seasons. Despite his brief tenure, Lanier is ninth on the Bucks postseason scoring list (680 points), tied for sixth in rebounding (342) and tied for third in blocked shots (45). His playoff scoring average of 15.1 is 12th in team history.
Counting his four seasons in Milwaukee, Lanier amassed 19,248 points in 14 years, finishing his career with averages of 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Bob Lanier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 as a player.