Share this article

print logo

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Jim McDaniels (born April 2, 1948)

The one-year stop of Jim McDaniels in Buffalo wasn't the most interesting portion of the basketball player's career. He had some odd twists and turns before arriving here.

McDaniels was a 6-foot-11 standout at Western Kentucky University, where he quickly became one of the nation's top big men. McDaniels led WKU to a third-place finish in the 1971 NCAA Tournament. He was then drafted by both the Seattle SuperSonics and the Utah Stars of the ABA. However, he signed a $1.35 million contract with the Carolina Cougars.

Here's where the fun begins. It was discovered that McDaniels had been first approached by the Cougars the previous November. The NCAA eventually erased Western Kentucky's participation from the tournament. McDaniels averaged almost 27 points per game with Carolina as a rookie, and then demanded a renegotiation of his contract. One of his complaints centered on the steering wheel of his team-provided Cadillac.

He jumped to Seattle, but was cut by Sonics General Manager Bill Russell in the fall of 1974. He bounced from the Lakers to the Kentucky Colonels to Italy. Then the center was signed by the Buffalo Braves, who used him as a backup center during their final season of 1977-78. He averaged 5.6 points per game.

McDaniels reportedly lives in Bowling Green, Ky. He no doubt wonders every so often about what might have been.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at