Robert Traylor Rumors

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Robert Traylor
Robert Traylor
Position: None
Born: 02/01/77
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:283 lbs. / 128.8 kg.
For almost two hours, Lenora Traylor was inconsolable. Her son, Robert, was laid to rest this afternoon after an emotional service at the Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. One of Detroit’s basketball sons died May 11 of an apparent heart attack in Puerto Rico. He was 34. Lenora Traylor moaned, cried and reached out to the casket as a list of local basketball players and dignitaries came to pay their respects to the former Murray-Wright and Michigan standout who played seven NBA seasons.
The Mavs had the sixth pick that summer. Milwaukee had the ninth pick and the Celtics the 10th pick. The trade went down with the Bucks, who wanted Tractor. The Mavericks took Traylor at No. 6, waited for Philadelphia and Sacramento to draft, then Milwaukee took Dirk at No. 9. “We thought we knew for sure that the two teams behind us were locked into their picks, and wouldn’t trade if Boston wanted to move up ahead of Milwaukee [for Dirk], but there’s never a given,” said Big Nellie. “I was really sweating it for 15 minutes before Milwaukee got on the clock.” The agents of both teams knew what was going on, and where their players would eventually end up. But no one else did.
Young Dirk, interestingly enough, was under the NBA radar for most teams, but it was known that then Celtics head coach Rick Pitino was onto Nowitzki and was scrambling for more information on the kid. “Leading up to the draft [in the summer of 1998], Donnie hid out Dirk in Europe,” said Big Nellie. “Rick couldn’t get to him to interview him. Nobody could. Donnie had him stashed away.” Donnie also had been an assistant coach in Phoenix, where he believed a backup point guard, Steve Nash, could be a future big-time player. “Our objective for that draft was to come away with both Dirk and Steve,” Donnie said Thursday.
Bayamon Cowboys star and former NBA forward Robert “Tractor” Traylor was found dead of an apparent heart attackat his home in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. He was 34. Traylor, who shot to fame in American college basketball with the Michigan Wolverines in the nineties, was discovered on the bedroom floor of his oceanfront apartment in Isla Verde. His teammates, who had their league game postponed on Wednesday evening, have expressed shock over his death. “It’s a very difficult time for us,” said Bayamon’s Puerto Rico international Christian Dalmau.
But the truth of the matter, says former Bucks general manager Larry Harris, is the team never considered picking Nowitzki. Harris was the team’s director of scouting in 1998 and Bob Weinhauer was the general manager. “We really never had him (Nowitzki),” Harris said in an interview Wednesday. “The deal was done well before the draft started. “Had the deal not been done, they (the Mavericks) would have chosen him (Nowitzki).”
Today’s news of Robert “Tractor” Traylor’s death pained Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas. “It’s just a shock and hard to believe,” said Silas in an interview this afternoon with Starting Blocks. Silas coached Traylor in Charlotte, New Orleans and with the Cavaliers. “He was one of my special players that I really admired,” Silas said. “We just texted each other about two weeks ago. I remember once how he stepped up for me in Cleveland when he told the other players they were wrong in the way they were going at me. It was a blessing to know him, to be around him and to be a close friend.”
Harris recalled that Traylor’s weight was a concern before the draft but said the 280-plus pound forward had worked hard to get in shape. “He was concerned with his weight and knew what people were saying about him,” Harris said. Traylor played two seasons with the Bucks before being traded to Cleveland in 2000 as part of a three-team deal. If the Bucks had no clue on Nowitzki’s future, they were also among nine teams that let Paul Pierce slide. The Boston Celtics took the Kansas player with the 10th overall pick, one slot after the Bucks. That’s another future Hall of Famer.