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December 14, 1990 - Image 58

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SPORTS

Feeling G orwa-dd!

Ex-Piston Coach, G.M.
Notes Changing Times

HARLAND ABBEY

Special to The Jewish News

T

J

ewish News readers think fit:
they ride Life-cycles, climb
Stairmasters and trek Nordic-
trails, all to look svelte and live
longer, healthier, happier lives.
They're committed — physically
and financially — to working out.
And FEELING GOOD reports it
all. Whether it's biking clothes or
wellness classes, organic vitamins
or sleek skis, your health-related
products and services come in
first in FEELING GOOD.

For information, call Dharlene Norris or
sales representative at (313) 354 6060.

-

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Issue Date:
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Since 1969 —

AMERICAN

SOCIETY'

Help us keep winning.

he playing career of
Bob Kauffman, one of
the few Jews to have
played in the National
Basketball Assocation's
modern era, aptly illustrates
how times have changed.
Kauffman, who also served
briefly as coach and general
manager of the Detroit
Pistons in the late 1970s,
said he couldn't get into the
college of his choice despite
being 6-foot-8, weighing 240
pounds and averaging 23
points per game for his
Scarsdale, N.Y., high school.
"They said my grades were
`questionable,' recalled
Kauffman, "so I was turned
down by Wake Forest." But
the coach there, "Bones"
McKinney, suggested he go
to nearby Guilford College,
boost his grades, play some
basketball and then transfer
to Wake Forest.
Recruiting of high school
stars has changed tremen-
dously since then. Now a
player of Kauffman's poten-
tial would be welcomed at
any major college.
And if the player's grades
are a little — or even a lot —
below standard, there's a
team of academic advisers
and graduate students
available to help him
become eligible to play.
Kauffman followed
McKinney's advice and
benefited from the coaching
at Guilford. But McKinney
soon left Wake Forest and
Kauffman stuck it out at
Guilford, which ranked in
the National Intercollegiate
Athletic Association's top 10
for two seasons and was No.
1 in Kauffman's senior year.
Kauffman was the third pick
in the college draft in 1968,
after Elvin Hayes and
Wesley Unseld.
Drafted by Seattle, he was
then traded to Chicago
before being dealt by the
Bulls to the Buffalo Braves
for Bailey Howell in the ex-
pansion draft.
Kauffman, a center and
power forward for the
Braves, provided solid mus-
cle plus rebounding and
double-figure scoring for
four seasons and was a
three-time All-Star. But he
best recalls a regular-season
game "when I was matched
against Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar and scored 44 points.
"That night I could have
drop-kicked the ball and it

Bob Kauffman:
Wake Forest reject.

would have gone through
the hoop."
Eventually traded to the
Atlanta Hawks, a
degenerative hip condition
forced Kauffman to retire.
He's had one hip replace-
ment and expects to have
another replaced in 1991,
but despite walking with a
cane, he still plays in old-
timers' games.
After retiring, Kauffman
served as assistant general
manager at Atlanta before
becoming the Pistons' G.M.
in 1977.
"I had to coach the Pistons
for 58 games (in the 1977-78
season) after the regular
coach (Herb Brown) was
fired," he remembered. "Bill
Davidson was an ideal
owner, but . . . When the
time came to pick a new
head coach, I wanted him to
hire either Chuck Daly,
who's the Pistons coach now,
(or) Bernie Bickerstaff or Al
Bianchi. All were assistant
coaches then and all are
head coaches now.
"But Davidson wanted to
hire a college coach named
Dick Vitale."
After that falling out,
Kauffman, whose coaching
record with the Pistons that
one year was 29-29, returned
to Atlanta, where he is in-
volved in marketing Court-
side magazine, sold in NBA
cities; the Rinkside magazine
familiar to hockey fans and
Ski Impact magazine.
Kauffman said he believes
academic standards were
higher when he was in col-
lege. "The rules now are an
attempt to make studies im-
portant; that's supposedly
what you're in college for.
Today, Kauffman coaches
two of his four daughters.



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