Robert Traylor

American basketball player

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Robert Traylor
Personal information
Born(1977-02-01)February 1, 1977
Detroit, Michigan
DiedMay 11, 2011(2011-05-11) (aged 34)
Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight290 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High schoolMurray-Wright (Detroit, Michigan)
CollegeMichigan (1995–1998)
NBA draft1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks
Playing career1998–2011
PositionPower forward / Center
Number54, 34, 32
Career history
19982000Milwaukee Bucks
2000–2001Cleveland Cavaliers
2001–2002Charlotte Hornets
20022004New Orleans Hornets
2004–2005Cleveland Cavaliers
2006Gestibérica Vigo
2007–2008Santurce Crabbers
2008–2009Antalya Kepez Belediyesi
2009NSB Napoli
2010Vaqueros de Bayamón
2010–2011Halcones UV Xalapa
2011Vaqueros de Bayamón
Career highlights and awards
* indicates awards retroactively forfeited
Career NBA statistics
Points2,085 (4.8 ppg)
Rebounds1,640 (3.7 rpg)
Blocks306 (0.7 bpg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats at

Robert DeShaun "Tractor" Traylor (February 1, 1977 – May 11, 2011) was an American professional basketball player.

High school and college

Traylor was a McDonald's All-American the same year as Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce. He attended the University of Michigan. Standing 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) and weighing in excess of 300 pounds, he joined a frontcourt for the Wolverines that included Maurice Taylor and Maceo Baston. That year, Traylor broke a backboard while dunking in a game against Ball State.[1] Traylor helped lead the Wolverines to the 1997 National Invitation Tournament title, and was named the tournament's most valuable player. His junior year was his best, as he averaged 16.2 points and 10 rebounds while leading his team to the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship and second round of the NCAA Tournament as a three seed.

Traylor was one of the former Michigan players whose ties to booster Ed Martin roiled the program. During his freshman year, Traylor broke his arm in a car accident while out with teammates and recruiting prospect Mateen Cleaves (who ended up going to rival Michigan State). That accident triggered a six-year investigation into the Wolverine program. Martin, who died in 2003 at 69, pleaded guilty in 2002 to conspiracy to launder money and told federal prosecutors he took gambling money, combined it with other funds and lent $616,000 to Traylor, Chris Webber and two other Wolverine players dating to when they were still in high school.[2] Traylor received three years' probation for tax fraud.[3]

Due to NCAA violations connected to the case (principally the compromising of the amateur status of Traylor, Webber and Taylor), Michigan withdrew from consideration for the 2003 NCAA tournament, lost scholarships and was placed on probation. The school also vacated the records of every game in which Traylor played from its record book. Traylor also had to surrender his MVP award for the 1997 NIT, as well as his MVP award from the 1998 Big Ten tournament. Murray-Wright High School in Detroit, where Traylor played high school basketball, voluntarily forfeited its entire 1994–95 season (Traylor's senior season).

NBA career

In the 1998 NBA Draft, Traylor was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round (with the sixth pick), then traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Pat Garrity and German prospect Dirk Nowitzki. Many rank this as one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, as Nowitzki would go onto a 21-season career with the Mavericks, while Garrity was shortly thereafter traded by the Mavericks for future Hall of Famer, Steve Nash.

In the 2005 offseason, Traylor had surgery on his aorta.[4] He then signed on with the New Jersey Nets for the 2005–06 NBA season, but—due to his failing a physical examination—the deal was scrapped.[3][5] Traylor battled weight problems throughout his career.

International career

Traylor played in Turkey for Antalya Kepez Belediyesi, in Italy with the Lega Basket Serie A club NSB Napoli,[6] in México for Halcones UV Xalapa, and in Puerto Rico with the Cangrejeros de Santurce and Vaqueros de Bayamón.[7] Traylor was selected as 2010 Defensive Player of the Year of Baloncesto Superior Nacional.[8] Traylor's last game was played on April 26, 2011, against San German, where he tallied five minutes of playing time with no points scored and two personal fouls.


On May 11, 2011, Traylor was found dead at his apartment in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, of an apparent heart attack. Traylor was talking to his wife on the phone at the time; the connection was suddenly lost, at which point his wife Raye Traylor alerted team officials to investigate. ESPN reported that Traylor had died of a heart attack.[9]

Former coach Paul Silas commented on Traylor's death, saying, "It's just a shock and hard to believe."[10]

See also


  1. ^ | Robert Traylor RIPS down rim
  2. ^ "Traylor pleads guilty to tax fraud." Retrieved March 15, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Former Hornet 'Tractor' Traylor gets three years of probation - NBA - ESPN". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Sources: NBA to standardize physicals - NBA - ESPN". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ Nets bolster roster with Padgett and Murray "The Nets .. pursued free agent forward Robert Traylor but backed out when Traylor failed his physical."
  6. ^ "Traylor, Robert - Turkish Basketball League Player". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Robert The Tractor Traylor signs with Vaqueros Bayamon". Sportando. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Ex-NBA, UM Player Robert Traylor Dies At 34". WNEM-TV.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Ex-NBA player Robert 'Tractor' Traylor found dead in Puerto Rico - ESPN". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. ^ Paul Silas, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, reacts to Robert 'Tractor' Traylor's death on; Wright, Branson (May 11, 2011)

Further information

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Robert Traylor