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Bob McAdoo: the stats, the highlights, and the legend.
Bob McAdoo was the original stretch big in the NBA, four decades before anyone ever heard of the term. If you look at Bob McAdoo and his stats you can see what his impact was on the NBA.
Watching McAdoo on tape allows what he was to be truly understood. You can watch video of Bob McAdoo at his best on the desktop version of my site or just watch it below.
Bob McAdoo Honors & stats
When Bob McAdoo left the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he garnered 2nd team AP All-American honors and led the Tar Heels to the Final Four. North Carolina head coach, Dean Smith claimed he didn’t bring in transfers and he didn’t, with McAdoo the exception to that rule.
Bob McAdoo made an immediate impact on the ACC. He was the ACC tournament MVP in Greensboro, North Carolina. Only the conference champion was invited to participate in the NCAA tournament back then. McAdoo averaged 19.5 ppg-10.1 reb in his one season at UNC. Bob McAdoo would see his stats increase once he became a professional.
He was the 2nd pick in the 1972 NBA draft. McAdoo was picked 2nd because he couldn’t come to a contract agreement with Portland, the team that held the 1st pick. It was later discovered that he was the first pick in the ABA too.
More Bob McAdoo Accolades
Bob McAdoo put up many incredible stat lines during his NBA playing career. He won the scoring title three times. A five time all-star and a three time All-NBA selection(2x 1st team).
McAdoo was the 1973 NBA rookie-of-the-year and the 1975 NBA MVP.
Finishing 2nd in MVP voting in both 1974 and 1976. McAdoo was a two time NBA champion and in 2000 he was inducted into the Naismith memorial basketball hall-of-fame.
McAdoo played center and power forward during his career. Much of what he did came on jump shots. He was a complete offensive weapon that hasn’t been duplicated by anyone else since.
Respect of his peers
Bob McAdoo was drafted by the Buffalo Braves, the franchise now known as the L.A Clippers. His impact on the league was immediate. He was named Rookie-of-the-Year and every player on every team knew he was a superstar in the making. Bob McAdoo was new kind of weapon that hadn’t been seen before in the NBA, a center who was shooting as far back as today’s three point line.
There wouldn’t be a three point line for a few more seasons but it didn’t matter to can-doo McAdoo. He could spot-up shoot. He could take the defender off the dribble or he could use his dribble to find his shot. Just imagine what shooting guards do and that’s what McAdoo was like with the ball. It was a nightmare for opposing centers and power forwards to check him.
What They Said
Dr. Jack Ramsey said of him “Bob McAdoo had the full package, an offensive weapon that I don’t think has ever been equaled in the game”. Magic Johnson called him “unstoppable”.
Today defenders are used to bigs stretching the floor. In the 1970’s teams didn’t know what to do against McAdoo. They would try things like switching the power forward on him. Usually this wouldn’t work as he would take them into the paint with his turn around jumper. He is the original stretch big. Shooting all over the floor.
Bob McAdoo wasn’t just a shooter. He was a shot creator off the dribble similar to Dirk Nowitzki. He was also a better rebounder and low post scorer than a player like Dirk was. I’m not comparing the two, just stating facts. McAdoo broke the North Carolina high school record for the high jump, just as an example of his agility and athleticism.
Bob McAdoo’s Stats: years 2-4
- 1973-74: 30.6ppg-15.1rpg-3.3bpg-1.2spg (scoring champ) led league fg% (54.7) 2nd mvp voting
- 1974-75: 34.5ppg-14.1rpg-2.1bpg-1.1spg (2nd scoring title) 1975 NBA MVP
- 1975-76: 31.1ppg-12.4rpg-4.0apg-2.1bpg-1.1spg (3rd straight scoring title) 2nd MVP voting.
In 1974, Bob McAdoo won his first of three straight scoring titles. Bob McAdoo’s 30.6 points-per-game is an impressive stat in itself but McAdoo also led the NBA in field goal percentage in 1974. Shaquille O’Neal did this in 2000 too. Wilt Chamberlain before the both of them.
McAdoo was the only one out of the three that did this with much of his points coming off of jumpers. Round this off with 15.1 rebounds-per-game, 3.3s blocks and over a steal per game too.
Bob McAdoo had a great NBA career that spanned from NBA MVP candidate to an important role player off the bench. McAdoo traveled around the league, playing for a total eight NBA teams.
Bob McAdoo continued his scoring onslaught in 1977 with the New York Knicks. He then had a cup of coffee with the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and New Jersey Nets.
On Christmas Eve 1981, Bob McAdoo was traded by the Nets to the Los Angeles Lakers for a 2nd round pick. The Lakers were hoping to tap into some of that old greatness of McAdoo, who was now 30-years-old.
Coming off the bench for the Lakers, McAdoo wouldn’t be the same highlight reel superstar. He would have to be a role player on one of the greatest NBA teams of all-time, the showtime Lakers.
In his four seasons with Los Angeles, McAdoo played over 20 minutes-per-game and played in the NBA Finals everyone of those seasons.
McAdoo was a major contributor on two NBA championship teams in 1982 and 1985.
After L.A, Bob McAdoo went to play with the Philadelphia 76ers, this was his last NBA season as a player.
He would play seven more seasons in Italy before retiring after the 1993 season at 41-years-old.
McAdoo became an assistant coach under Pat Riley in New York in 1995. Riley was the Lakers head coach that brought McAdoo to Los Angeles. When Riley went to become the Miami Heat head coach, McAdoo went with him.
After Riley moved from coaching into the front office, McAdoo remained an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, winning three championships.