November 13, 1971 -- Fans always have a little soft spot in their hearts for a team's first star. Such is the case of Bob Kauffman and the Buffalo Braves.
Kauffman was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers with a second-round pick after the 1970 expansion draft for Bailey Howell, a veteran who was of more use to an established team than the Braves.
Kauffman was a two-year veteran entering the season who had bounced from Seattle to Chicago to Philadelphia. At 6-foot-8, Kauffman was supposed to be a forward on the team, but he somewhat unexpectedly found himself as the Braves' starting center.
Kauffman thrived in that role, raising his scoring average from 4.3 points per game in Chicago to more than 20 points per game in 1970-71. He was a reason to go to the Aud to see pro basketball in those early days.
Kauffman hit his number with 44 points in a game with the Bucks on this date. That sort of performance helped him make the All-Star Game for three straight years.
Buffalo later had hopes of teaming him with Bob McAdoo to form a powerful forecourt, but Kauffman suffered a hip injury that essentially ended his career.
For more on the 1971-72 Braves, click here.
--- Budd Bailey