Here’s an obituary none of us saw coming. The Puerto Rican basketball team Bayamon Cowboys claim former University of Michigan college basketball star Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor is now dead at the very young age of 34.
Traylor, a member of that professional team, had been playing in Puerto Rico since ’07. Traylor went missing for several days and his body was finally discovered in his apartment.
The supposed cause of death? massive heart attack.
According to WXYZ, ABC 7:
Traylor had a history of health problems. He had surgery on his aorta in 2005. A deal that would have sent him to the New Jersey Nets in 2005 was scrapped because he failed a physical. He also battled obesity throughout his life.
Traylor was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 6th pick of the 1998 NBA draft. However, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks and never played for the Mavericks. In addition to the Bucks, Traylor also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets.
There was a small up-tick in public interest for the Detroit native, following the release of Jalen Rose/ESPN produced “documentary” The Fab Five. Traylor was a member of the Wolverines 1997 NIT championship team. And that title was later vacated due to the Ed Martin scandal, which was touched upon in the film.
Traylor broke his arm in a car accident that made national news, and especially caught the attention of NCAA investigators. This led to a six-year investigation of a the program that uncovered the Martin scandal, elicited sanctions and set the program back a decade or so.
The Bucks released a statement on his death:
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 (1998-2000). 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.
Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.
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