The Buffalo Braves history in Buffalo was only eight seasons, however they brought many exciting moments to Buffalo sports history. The Braves had two epic playoff series with the Boston Celtics losing both in six games and a heartbreaking series against the Washington Bullets losing in a seventh and deciding game. The Braves had some great players: Bob McAdoo, Adrian Dantley, Moses Malone, Tiny Archibald, Ernie DiGregorio, Jim McMillian, Bob Kaufman and Randy Smith. There greatest successes came under Hall of Fame Coach, Jack Ramsey from 1972 to 1976, leading them to their three playoff appearances.
If you are a basketball fan, we will bring the Braves history to life. The Buffalo Braves could have exhibits that promote Bob McAdoo leading the NBA in scoring, the daring play of Randy Smith, and the thrilling playoff series with the Boston Celtics as well as reliving the memorable moments in Braves history through exciting video and audio clips, memorabilia and photos. In the “NBA Action – Braves” Experience, drive to the basket past the Celtics’ John Havlicek, dunk over Kareem Jabbar, make a last second shot that wins the game for the Braves and get mobbed by your teammates as the crowd erupts.
These are the types of experiences we want to bring to life in The Buffalo Entertainment and Sports Experience.
The Buffalo Germans
The Buffalo Germans in 1903
In 1895, only four years after Dr. James Naismith had invented basketball, five youngsters came together to form a basketball team at a YMCA on Buffalo’s East Side, under the leadership of Fred Burkhardt, the Physical Education Director, who had learned the game from Naismith himself while studying at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, MA. Burkhardt had completed Dr. Naismith’s physical education class in 1891, where Dr. Naismith introduced his new game of “Basket Ball”. Naming themselves the Buffalo Germans –the dynasty of basketball’s first great team humbly began.
Serving as the coach of a team of German-speaking youngsters, Burkhardt formed a junior team. For three years it dominated the junior ranks, taking the title each year and not losing one junior game. In 1898, after winning the junior title each year, the young Germans entered the area men’s league and by 1900 the Germans were a stunning 48-4 in men’s league play.
In 1901, the Pan-American Exposition came to Buffalo along with the first National Basketball Tournament. Heavy underdogs throughout the tournament, the Germans still a young team, the average age being only 18, nonetheless won every game they played en route to becoming the nation’s best. The Germans beat each of the other seven squads, notably eventual runner-up, Entre Nous Athletic Club of Paterson, NJ, which they beat 16-5. The Germans for the last day of the tournament had to play without three of their players—Al Heerdt, John I. Maier, and Edmund Reiman – who had to return to Mastin Park High to take exams. In one game they were left shorthanded with only three players on the floor for part of the first half against St. Joseph’s Literary Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts, but ultimately prevailed 10-1.