The modern NBA features plenty of hybrid big men that can shoot the ball, but Bob McAdoo may have set the standard in the ‘70s. The talented Hall of Fame forward-center was born September 25, 1951 in Greensboro, N.C.
Robert Allen McAdoo was a star basketball and track athlete in high school, but didn’t have the grades for a Division I school. He instead attended Vincennes University in Indiana, then a junior college, and helped the basketball team win the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in 1970.
At the urging of his mother, who lobbied on his behalf, Dean Smith beat out many other suitors in recruiting him to the North Carolina Tar Heel’s basketball team, reportedly the only junior college player the legendary coach has ever recruited. After one year and at the urging of Coach Smith, McAdoo applied the “hardship” clause and was drafted second overall by the Buffalo Braves in 1972.
McAdoo’s talent as a scorer became evident right away, and he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1973, and was league MVP in 1975. For three years with the Braves, McAdoo averaged over 30 points per game. After a three-season stint with the rebuilding New York Knicks, McAdoo bounced around before landing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981, helping the squad win championships in 1982 and 1985 respectively. McAdoo played 14 seasons in the NBA and continued to play seven more in Europe before retiring in 1992.
As an assistant coach with the Miami Heat, Bob McAdoo won three more NBA titles. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2000.
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