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This Day in Buffalo Sports History<br> January 25, 1977 -- Locke out

When it comes to coaching in Buffalo, it's fair to say Tates Locke never had much of a chance.

Locke was hired as the replacement for Jack Ramsey in the summer of 1976. Ramsey went on to coach the Portland Trail Blazers, and you know how that worked out for him. Ramsey led Bill Walton and Co. to a championship.

Locke, who when he was head coach at Army hired a young Bobby Knight as an assistant, had a tougher time. John Y. Brown became the team's part owner around that time, and he made things, um, difficult. Brown brought in several new faces in that season. Adrian Dantley was the team's first-round draft choice, and Moses Malone was acquired in a deal.

But Malone didn't work out, and then Locke saw his superstar, Bob McAdoo, traded to the Knicks in December. That took the life out of the franchise, essentially forever.

The Braves fell to 16-30 by January 24, 1977, so Locke became the scapegoat the next day. Bob MacKinnon replaced him on an interim basis.

Locke went on to coach at Jacksonville and Indiana State. Supposedly his life was used for a basis of the movie, "Blue Chips," starring Nick Nolte.

-- Budd Bailey

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