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Robert Traylor had to get his shoes from Bill Laimbeer

SLAM’s Alan Paul has a nice memorial of former Michigan star and Detroit native Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor posted today, and it included a brief Pistons-related note:

Traylor was a Detroit man, through and through. As a 6-6, 250-pound freshman at Murray-Wright High School, he had to get his size 18 shoes from Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer, his coach once told the Detroit Free Press.

I’m biased here, obviously, but the basketball tradition in this state is so rich and connected. I love finding stories like this that pop up from time to time. The Bad Boys era Pistons seemed very connected to the community — Jalen Rose has talked about working out with them when he was a high school and college player. In the early 2000s, when Flint still had a really good summer pro-am league, Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace both came up and played in a few games. I hope the current group of Pistons gets that plugged into the local basketball scene as some teams of the past were.

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