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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Bob McAdoo

(Born September 25, 1951) -- How to describe Bob McAdoo to someone who didn’t see him in his prime as a superstar with the Buffalo Braves? Let’s see ... he played a lot like Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks, only better.

McAdoo was one of the best in the business for his time here. He played junior college basketball in Indiana and then landed at North Carolina, where he was an All-American under Dean Smith. McAdoo became the Braves’ first-round draft pick in 1972.

The center/forward was rookie of the year in 1972-73. Then the Braves traded Elmore Smith and moved McAdoo to center, and his game and the team took off. McAdoo teamed with such players as Ernie DiGregorio and Randy Smith to form an exciting offensive machine.

The Braves made the playoffs for three straight years, and McAdoo won the NBA’s MVP award in 1974-75. A contract dispute led to a trade with the Knicks, and it could be argued that the Buffalo team was never the same.

McAdoo bounced around a bit after that, but did win two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. Then he headed to Italy to play for seven years, only to return as an assistant coach with Miami. McAdoo still likes to talk about his days in Buffalo, though.

--- Budd Bailey

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