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Robert Traylor found dead

May 11, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

Robert Traylor backboard

According to the team of former NBA player Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Traylor has been found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. He was 34 years old.

Traylor first gained national attention for his hulking physique and skill around the basket as a star forward at the University of Michigan, and was taken with the sixth overall pick (and swapped for Dirk Nowitzki on draft day) after averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game as a Michigan junior.

Traylor’s NBA career never lived up to the promise he showed in college, and he averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in stints with the Bucks, Cavaliers, and Hornets before he began his international basketball career in 2006 after a failed physical with the New Jersey Nets.

Traylor struggled with health and weight issues throughout most of his adult life, but his cause of death has yet to be confirmed. He had been out with a heel injury but not been seen for several days when friends went to his apartment to check on him and found him passed.

Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Mr. Traylor.

  1. sknut - May 11, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Much too young. He was a beast at Michigan. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.

    • dmvdmv101560 - May 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      What in this comment would make 2 people click the thumbs down icon? There is absolutely nothing here that anyone should disagree about. Unless you’re a simple-minded person who doesn’t like the college that he attended – which shouldn’t even matter in a situation like this.

  2. andyhr17 - May 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    You forget, the world is filled with stupid people.

    • florida727 - May 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Reminds me of the saying, “Never argue with an idiot; they’ll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.”

      I agree with “dmv”, what the heck causes anyone to punch the thumbs down button on a post like that? In case you misread the headline, stupid, someone is DEAD. Someone’s son, friend, whatever. It’s sad. I’m no UM fan, but this guy was an absolute beast in college.

  3. purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    While my thoughts and sympathies go out to his family, as far as his failed NBA career goes there’s a clear cut pattern of guys who star at Michigan going bust (with of course the obvious exception being butt-chin Tom (Brady)), when they hit the pro’s.

    I blame much of that on the Michigan alumni, who prop these guys up to near god-like status to the point to where they all enter their respective drafts with a bad case of the swell heads and think that the world will be handed to them on a silver platter. By the time their mostly poor work ethics derived from years of adulation from being “a big man on campus” finally sink in, it’s too late for them.

    Sad, but that’s reality too.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      How in the hell is that relevant at all to the article. Judging by your handle I guess you are a Purdue guy, but seriously if you have an ax to grind take it to a Big Ten blog not an article talking about somebodies death. Gain some perspective.

      • loungefly74 - May 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        please excuse purdueman for his obscene comments. the guy is a curmudgeon. just about everything he comments on is an insult or just way off based.

  4. passerby23 - May 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Glen Rice, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jamal Crawford, and Maurice Taylor are a few names off the top of my head who went to Michigan and had/have some pretty solid NBA careers. I would hardly call those players “busts.”

    Tractor Traylor might fit the mold of a bust, but I don’t see how being a Michigan product is to blame for that.

  5. king3319 - May 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Well purdue u managed to once again come off as the #1 idiot posting…great job!!! Prayers and condolences to the family. I had the honor of meeting this humble genuine man. I feel nothing but sadness for his family.

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