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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Eddie Donovan

     (Born June 2, 1922) -- For someone born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Eddie Donovan sure kept returning to Western New York a lot.

     Donovan became well known in this part of the world originally as the basketball coach at St. Bonaventure. His teams went 139-57 during eight seasons there, and some of them were nationally ranked.

     Donovan made the jump to the pros in 1961, as the New York Knicks hired him to replace Carl Braun as coach. Donovan moved up to general manager in 1965, and made several key moves that helped the Knicks win the NBA championship in 1970.

     It was quite a coup, then, when the Buffalo Braves hired Donovan as general manager in 1970. He was executive of the year in the NBA in 1973-74, but returned to the Knicks in 1975. His second stay in New York didn't go so well, and Donovan lost the GM job in 1982.

     In 1986, Donovan returned to Olean. He was a vice president there before retiring in 1994. Donovan died of a stroke in 2001.

--- Budd Bailey

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