HoopsHype Robert Traylor rumors

May 19, 2011 Updates

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. Detroit Free Press

May 17, 2011 Updates

The public viewing for former Michigan basketball star Robert (Tractor) Traylor will be 1-9 p.m. Wednesday at Swanson Funeral Home, 14751 W. McNichols in Detroit. The family hour will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, followed by a noon funeral at Greater New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 586 Owen in Detroit. Detroit Free Press

May 13, 2011 Updates

The entire Milwaukee Bucks organization is saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death. Robert was a fierce competitor on the court who helped the Bucks reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee. Off the court he was a gentle giant, displaying his smile and care, especially toward young people through his involvement in school visits and his work with the Special Olympics clinic. NBA.com

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. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May 12, 2011 Updates

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. FIBA.com

May 11, 2011 Updates

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." Cleveland Plain Dealer

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)." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

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. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a statement he was found dead Wednesday on the bedroom floor of his oceanfront apartment. Police and Traylor's team, the Bayamon Cowboys, said he had been missing for a few days and apparently died from a heart attack. CBSSports.com

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