When I was five years old
My babysitter was a seven-foot, 250 pound man
With these giant feet and hands
We had these indoor balconies in our home
and my sister and I used to squeeze through the railings
and jump off the second floor
into the arms of this giant
My father used to watch all of this and just laugh
And this babysitter, whose name was Bob
Just would smile the warmest smile you've ever seen
And at five years old I thought
'when I grow up, I wanna be like Bob'
I should also mention that Bob was one of the greatest big men in the history of basketball
His stats speak for themselves
He still has the PISTONS highest all-time scoring average
He was a prolific rebounder and shotblocker
In an era dominated by Kareem, Unseld, Moses Malone, Walton, Gilmore, and even an aging Chamberlain, Bob was always the biggest, and most aggressive body on the court
Rick Mahorn once told me that the only player he was ever afraid of was Bob Lanier
Bob was a notorious practical joker
In the early days, our front office at the PISTONS was only about seven or eight people
At some point, we finally had enough money to hire someone to answer the phones
Now, Bob wasn't gonna pass up a chance to mess with the newbie
So Bob comes into the office
with a bunch of big guys
The receptionist says "Can I help you?"
Bob says "We're the Black Panthers, and we’re shutting this joint down because you don't have enough black people working in the front office!"
Well, this poor lady about had a heart attack
So Bob said "Wait a minute, I'm just messing with you. I'm the starting center for the team. My name's Bob"
Rest in Peace Bob!
I hope you will catch me in your arms again someday