The Original Buffalo Braves Site

This page has information and pictures of the old Buffalo Braves (now legally the new Boston Celtics, but for practical purposes, the LA Clippers). They played in Buffalo from 1970 to 1978 and have enjoyed most of their success during that time. Though their tenure in Buffalo was short, the Braves had a very loyal following. Interested in a Paul Snyder fan club? Let me know. Thanks. If you have any stories to share about the team, its players, fans, etc. please e-mail me at: Here's a trivia question: Name the only 3 non-players to attend the Braves last home game and SD Clippers first home game. Check for answer at the bottom of the page. Thanks and enjoy the site!


Formative Period

5Nov69 The NBA announces that it plans to expand by two teams for the 1970-71 season with an expansion committee to meet on 8Dec69 and possible cities being Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, Memphis, Minneapolis and Portland .... 20Jan70 The NBA votes 12-2 for expansion in 1970 with Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston and Portland to receive franchises at a cost of $3.5 million .... 6Feb70 Philip J. Ryan and Peter Crotty are awarded an expansion franchise to play in Buffalo at the cost of $3.7 million .... Eddie Donovan is named General Manager .... 23Mar70 Trade a 1970 first-round draft choice (9-George Johnson) to Baltimore for Mike Davis and a 1970 first-round draft choice (15-John Hummer) .... 23Mar70 Draft John Hummer .... 31Mar70 Dolph Schayes is named coach .... Prior to their first game, the team is purchased by a group headed by Paul L. Snyder .... Play in the Memorial Auditorium (capacity 17,300) .... 11May70 Select Emmette Bryant, Mike Davis, Dick Garrett, Herm Gilliam, Bailey Howell and Don May in a joint expansion draft with Cleveland and Portland .... 11May70 Trade Howell to Philadelphia for Bob Kauffman and a draft choice

1970-71 (22-60)

14Oct70 The Braves defeat Cleveland in their first game 107-92 in Buffalo .... 12Jan71 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1971-72 (22-60)

29Mar71 Draft Elmore Smith, Fred Hilton, Spencer Haywood (who had signed as an undergraduate with Seattle) and Randy Smith .... 26Jul71 Trade May and Gilliam to Atlanta for Walt Hazzard and Jerry Chambers .... Hazzard changes his named to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman .... 13Oct71 After an opening game loss, Schayes is replaced as coach with John McCarthy .... 18Jan72 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... Smith is named to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1972-73 (21-61)

27Mar72 McCarthy is dismissed as coach .... 6Apr72 Jack Ramsey is named as head coach .... 10Apr72 Draft Bob McAdoo .... After McAdoo had signed with Virginia of the ABA, Buffalo purchases his contract for $200,000 and then signs him to a new contract .... 9Nov72 Waive Abdul-Rahman .... 11Dec72 Garrett and Harold Fox are cleared of drug charges brought against them .... 23Jan73 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... McAdoo is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1973-74 (42-40)

24Apr73 Draft Ernie DiGregorio and Tim Bassett (who signs with San Diego of the ABA) .... Outbid Kentucky and sign DiGregorio to a three-year, $2.3 million contract (with much of it deferred) .... 10Sep73 Trade Hummer and a draft choice to Chicago for Garfield Heard and the rights to Kevin Kunnert .... 12Sep73 Trade Elmore Smith to Los Angeles for Jim McMillan .... 1Jan74 DiGregorio sets a rookie record with 25 assists in a game .... 15Jan74 McAdoo plays in the All-Star Game and is named Most Valuable Player .... 1Feb74 Trade Kunnert and Dave Wohl to Houston for Jack Marin and Matt Goukas .... McAdoo sets a team record with 246 blocked shots for the season .... McAdoo leads the league with a .547 field goal percentage and 30.6 PPG .... Randy Smith sets a team record with 203 steals for the season .... DiGregorio is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team and leads the league with a .902 FT% .... Donovan is named NBA Executive of the Year... McAdoo is named All-NBA Second Team .... Lose in the playoffs to Boston 4 games to 2

1974-75 (49-33)

20May74 Kauffman is selected by New Orleans in the expansion draft .... 29May74 Draft Tom McMillen and Kim Hughes (who remains in school) .... 1Nov74 DiGregorio totals a team-record 25 assists against Portland .... 3Nov74 to 23Nov74 Buffalo wins a team-record eleven straight games .... 14Jan75 McAdoo plays in the All-Star Game .... 22Feb75 McAdoo scores a team-record 52 points against Boston .... 20Mar75 Buffalo files tampering charges against New York after they hire Donovan as their General Manager .... 22Mar75 McAdoo scores 51 points against Houston .... McMillan is limited to 62 games due to illness, Heard is limited to 67 games due to an ankle injury and DiGregorio is limited to 31 games due to a knee injury .... McAdoo leads the league in scoring with a team record 2,831 points and 34.5 PPG... 18Apr75 McAdoo scores 50 points in a playoff game against Washington .... 2Apr75 McAdoo is named NBA Most Valuable Player and All-NBA First Team .... Lose in the playoffs to Washington 4 games to 3

Donovan, McMillian, McCann, Ramsay, Schayes, Hubbell, McAdoo, rid of them all. -Paul "Show me the money" Snyder

***Interesting note...even up to recently, Snyder blames everyone except himself for a franchise gone.

1975-76 (46-36)

Bob McKinnon is named General Manager .... 29May75 Trade a 1975 first-round draft choice (16-Ricky Sobers) to Phoenix for a 1976 first-round draft choice (6-Adrian Dantley) .... 30Jun75 Trade a 1976 first-round draft choice (13-Mitch Kupchak) to Washington for Dick Gibbs and cash .... 20Nov75 McAdoo scores 50 points against Cleveland .... 27Nov75 Trade Marin to Chicago for a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) .... 1Feb76 Trade Heard and a draft choice to Phoenix for John Shumate .... 3Feb76 McAdoo and Smith play in the All-Star Game .... 17Mar76 McAdoo ties his team record with 52 points against Seattle .... McAdoo leads the league in scoring with 31.1 PPG .... Shumate is named to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Smith is named All-NBA Second Team .... Defeat Philadelphia in the playoffs 2 games to 1 before losing to Boston 4 games to 2

1976-77 (30-52)

3May76 Ramsay resigns as head coach .... 6May76 Tates Locke is named coach .... 8Jun76 Draft Adrian Dantley and George Johnson .... 14Jun76 Snyder gives Irving Cowan the option of buying 100% of the team for $6.1 million with Cowan intending to move the team to a new 15,000 arena in Hollywood, Florida .... 15Jun76 Cowan's plan to purchase majority control of the team and move it to Hollywood, Florida ends when the city of Buffalo is granted an injunction halting the move .... 16Jun76 Trade Charles and Gibbs to Atlanta for Tom Van Arsdale .... 10Sep76 Sell McMillan to New York .... 18Oct76 trade a 1978 first-round draft choice (3-Rick Robey) to Portland for Moses Malone .... 24Oct76 Trade Malone to Houston for a 1977 first-round draft choice (18-Wesley Cox) and a 1978 first-round draft choice (4-Micheal Ray Richardson) .... 2Nov76 Trade a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) to Milwaukee for Jim Price .... 9Dec76 Trade McAdoo and McMillen to New York for John Gianelli and cash .... 13Dec76 Trade Price to Denver for Chuck Williams and Gus Gerard .... 18Jan77 Trade a 1977 first-round draft choice ((18-Wesley Cox) to Golden State for George Johnson .... 25Jan77 Locke is relieved of duty as coach after a 16-30 start to the season with Bob MacKinnon named interim coach .... 16Feb77 Joe Mullaney is named interim coach .... DiGregorio sets a team record with a .945 free throw percentage for the season, leading the league .... John Y. Brown, Jr. purchases minority interest in the team .... Dantley is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

7Jun77 Trade a 1977 first-round draft (3-Marques Johnson) choice to Milwaukee for Swen Nater and a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) .... Brown purchases controlling interest in the team .... 5Aug77 Lowell "Cotton" Fitzsimmons is named head coach .... 1Sep77 Trade Dantley and Mike Bantom to Indiana for Billy Knight .... 1Sep77 Trade Johnson and 1978 and 1979 first-round draft choices (4-Micheal Ray Richardson & 11-Cliff Robinson) to New Jersey for Nate Archibald .... 2Sep77 Trade Gianelli and cash to Milwaukee for a 1979 first round pick (10-Roy Hamilton) .... 7Sep77 Trade DiGregorio to Los Angeles .... Norm Sonju is named General Manager .... 23Nov77 Trade Shumate, Gerard and a draft choice to Detroit for Marvin Barnes and draft choices .... Smith plays in the All-Star Game .... Knight is limited to 53 games due to a knee injury and Archibald misses the entire season with an achilles tendon injury .... 8Apr78 Play their final home game in Buffalo losing to New York 118-107 .... Do not qualify for the playoffs .... Brown investigates the possibility of moving the team to Dallas as the Dallas Express .... 7Jun78 Brown and Mangurian exchange the franchise with Irving H. Levin and Harold Lipton for the Boston franchise, Levin and Lipton then move the franchise to San Diego


Jim McMillian: "If the Braves nucleus could have been kept, we would have had something."

Dr. J on Randy's HOF prospects: "I think Randy was an excellent player. I know he was an All Star at least once and an All Star game MVP, but Randy does not in my estimation measure up to Hall of Fame credentials.."

Tates Locke: "John Y. Brown wanted to have the Irish connection (Notre Dame) on the Braves. That's why he drafted Adrian Dantley to team up with John Shumate instead of Quinn Buckner."

Debbie Schlueter: "Jack Ramsay is a class guy-one of the best I ever met in the NBA."

World B. Free: "Randy Smith was the toughest defender that I ever faced in the pro's"

John Y. Brown Jr.'s secretary: "I knew exactly what JYB's plans were with the Braves but was held to secrecy."

Rick Azar: "We had a group put together, including myself, in hopes of purchasing the franchise from JYB but it just didn't work out."

Bob MacKinnon: "The old Braves the new Celtics and the new Clippers are the old Celtics. When I joined the Celtics w/ JYB, I didn't have to fill out a W-4 form, but Red Auerbach did. The main reason for the tension between Cowens and McAdoo when both were w/ the Celts and that JYB pulled off the trade w/ the Knicks and never consulted w/ Red or Cowens."font>

Emmette Bryant: "I wish I would have had the opportunity to play for Coach Ramsay."

Dale Schlueter: "I enjoyed playing in Buffalo, but the weather left a little to be desired."

Jim McMillian: "Jack Ramsay was a great coach. He was a teacher. You don't find that in the pro's anymore."

Thought to ponder: Do you think that Paul Snyder would like to become partners w/ John Hummer, the venture capitalist?

Gerard and Barnes getting their lives pulled together.

Flying Gus and Bad News

Help put Mac's jersey where it belongs-attached to the rafters of the HSBC Arena.

Raise the roof for McAdoo

From the Buffalo News 7/14 Editorial Page...AN OVERDUE HONOR: Although Buffalo's NBA franchise is long gone, Buffalo sports fans still ought to push for the ultimate local tribute to a former star who honored this city last year by joining the NBA Hall of Fame in the colors of the Buffalo Braves. Why can't the city, Buffalo Sabres or the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame hoist a banner with Bob McAdoo's name and number to the rafters of the HSBC Arena, successor to the Aud where McAdoo played in his glory years? McAdoo, now an assistant coach with the Miami Heat, deserves the tribute. He was a five-time NBA All Star, MVP of the 1974 All-Star Game as a Buffalo Brave, led the NBA in scoring for three seasons and was the entire league's MVP in 1975. As short-lived and brutally-ended as the Braves franchise was, through no fault of this city or its basketball fans, McAdoo should be remembered as a local sports hero. The banner idea was advanced late last year by local fans Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell, who are currently 91 games into a crusade to attend a home game of all 121 NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball franchises in 49 cities. But a petition with hundreds of signatures was lost when a host Web site vanished, and the idea has languished. It deserves new life."

Here are a few links related to the early existence of this franchise.

A Slow Road To Victories

Expansion Struggles

Cavaliers Lose in NBA Debut BUFFALO, N.Y.

Braves Pictures

These former Braves were stars elsewhere and McAdoo article

The present Ernie D.

Where are they now?

What Braves were favorites?

The All-Braves Teams

This site is still under construction. Braves media guides, programs, pictures, etc. are needed! ANYTHING BUFFALO BRAVES! If you have any suggestions, comments or contributions,please e-mail me at

Thank you.

Trivia answer: Jon Spoelstra, Scotty Robertson and Pete Weber.

Get the NBA Retro look!

Braves stuff

Braves playoff tickets. What a bargain on the orange!

Braves ticket ad on WGR55

Gridiron Bills action!

Buffalo Bills Insider

View Guestbook Sign Guestbook
Powered by