By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 59: September 1, 1977The Braves trade Mike Bantom and Adrian Dantley to Indiana for Billy Knight.

Adrian Dantley was always a somewhat odd fit on a basketball court. He was 6-foot-5, which was respectable for a small forward, yet he played like a power forward. Dantley was one of the great scorers in the history of Notre Dame, and that attracted the attention of the Braves. Buffalo made him a No. 1 draft choice in 1976.

Dantley moved into the starting lineup and was named rookie of the year for 1976-77 while averaging 20.3 points per game. But before the next season, Braves owner John Y. Brown had his heart set on adding Billy Knight. Brown remembered Knight’s scoring skills when they were both associated with the American Basketball Association; the leagues merged in the summer of ’76.

Dantley and forward Mike Bantom went to Indiana for Knight. The Braves found out that Knight was still a fine player, averaging 22.9 points a game before suffering a knee injury. He did have several productive seasons after returning to Indiana. Dantley did some bouncing around, but he scored wherever he played. The forward averaged more than 26 points per game in all six of his seasons with Utah. Dantley finished his career with 34,151 points, and that’s why he went into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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