Jan 25, 1977 -- 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 Trailblazers, and you know how that worked out ... for him. Locke, who as head coach at Army hired a young assistant named Bobby Knight, had a tougher time.
The Braves picked up John Y. Brown as a part-owner around that time, and you probably know how well he worked out. Brown brought 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, 1976.
That took the life out of the franchise, essentially forever. The Braves fell to 16-30 by January 1977, so Locke became the scapegoat. Bob MacKinnon replaced him on an interim basis.
Locke went on to coach at Indiana State and Jacksonville. By the way, supposedly his life was used for a basis of the movie, "Blue Chips," starring Nick Nolte and Jim Boeheim. (Boeheim actually only had a cameo, but I've always wanted to write that last sentence.)
For more on the Braves' 1976-77 season, click here.
--- Budd Bailey