Bring Basketball Back: Buffalo would be a great fit for a WNBA expansion team

It’s​ been​ 40 long years​ since​ the​ Buffalo Braves left​ town. The​ NBA franchise played in the Queen​ City​ from 1970​​ to 1978, before leaving for sunny California to eventually become the present-day Los Angeles Clippers.

Though the Braves were a mediocre team at best, they had some notable players on the roster throughout their eight-year run. Ernie DiGregorio won Rookie of the Year in 1973-1974 and Bob McAdoo was the league MVP in the 1974-1975 season. McAdoo and fellow Brave Adrian Dantley are both NBA Hall of Famers, and Moses Malone — also in the Hall — made a brief but indelible appearance for a couple of games before being quickly traded to Houston. But like Malone’s short stint in Buffalo, basketball quickly faded from the minds of local sports fans and they turned all of their attention back to the Bills and Sabres.

It’s easy to peg Buffalo as a football and hockey town, because it’s all the city has known for four decades now. And for a brief period of time in 2014, fans even wondered if the sale of the Bills meant the loss of their beloved football franchise. But Kim and Terry Pegula had drastically different plans. By acquiring the Bills and the Sabres, they’ve injected a B-vitamin-like boost to both teams. And with their recent purchase of the Beauts in the NWHL, they’ve added yet another professional sports team into the mix and emphasized the importance of women’s hockey in the growth of the sport.

Which begs the question: why stop there? Why not make Buffalo a basketball town again?

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