Bob Kauffman

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Bob Kauffman
Bob Kauffman 1969.JPG
Kauffman in 1969
Personal information
Born(1946-07-13)July 13, 1946
Brooklyn, New York
DiedJuly 25, 2015(2015-07-25) (aged 69)
Lilburn, Georgia
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High schoolScarsdale (Scarsdale, New York)
CollegeGuilford (1964–1968)
NBA draft1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career1968–1975
PositionPower forward / Center
Number22, 6, 44
Career history
As player:
1968–1969Seattle SuperSonics
1969–1970Chicago Bulls
19701974Buffalo Braves
1974–1975Atlanta Hawks
As coach:
1977–1978Detroit Pistons
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points6,049 (11.5 ppg)
Rebounds3,682 (7.0 rpg)
Assists1,429 (2.7 apg)
Stats at

Robert Kauffman (July 13, 1946 – July 25, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and coach. Kaufmann was a three time NBA All-Star. [1]

Early life[edit]

Robert Alan Kauffman was born July 13, 1946 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to LeRoy and Anne Kauffman. He played at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York.[2] The Kauffman family was in the saddle and bridle business. Kauffman’s Boots and Saddles was their business on East 24th Street in Manhattan.[3]

College career[edit]

Bob Kauffman, from Scarsdale, New York, starred at NAIA Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 1964–1968, playing for Coach Jerry Steele.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound center is credited with turning the Quakers into an NAIA basketball powerhouse that won 86 games with three straight trips to the NAIA Tournament in his four seasons.

Kauffman scored 2,570 points on 64% shooting with 1,801 rebounds in his 113-game career. He averaged 22.7 points and 15.9 rebounds in his career. He has Guilford records for single-game rebounds (32), single-season rebounds (698, 1967-68), career field goals (943), single-season field goal percentage (.712, 1967-68), single-season free throws (273, 1966-67), career free throws (684) and single-season free-throw attempts (344, 1966-67).[4]

Kauffman graduated with a history degree in 1968.[5][6]

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Super Sonics (1968-1969)[edit]

Kauffman was selected with the third overall pick of the 1968 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics behind Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld; he was also selected in the 1968 American Basketball Association Draft by the Oakland Oaks.

As a rookie for Seattle in 1968-1969, Kauffman averaged 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, playing behind Bob Rule.[7]

Chicago Bulls (1969-1970)[edit]

On September 5, 1969 Kauffman was traded by the Seattle SuperSonics with a 1971 3rd round draft pick (Clifford Ray was later selected) to the Chicago Bulls for Bob Boozer and Barry Clemens. Kauffman played a reserve role for the Bulls in 1969-1970, averaging 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 12 minutes per game.[8]

Buffalo Braves (1970-1974)[edit]

On May 11, 1970, Kauffman was traded, completing a trade on September 2, 1969, he was traded by the Chicago Bulls with Jim Washington to the Philadelphia 76ers for Shaler Halimon and Chet Walker. Kauffman was sent as the player to be named later on May 11, 1970.[8] Later, the expansion Buffalo Braves acquired him and a 1971 2nd round draft pick (Spencer Haywood was later selected) from the Philadelphia 76ers the day of the NBA Expansion Draft, May 11, 1970, in exchange for veteran forward Bailey Howell. Kauffman never played for Philadelphia.[3][9]

In 1970-1971, playing for the Buffalo Braves, Kauffman became an All-Star, averaging 20.4 points and 10.7 rebounds for the 22-60 Braves under Coach Dolph Schayes. He was a reserve for the first six games of the season, scoring 26 points total in the first six games, before being inserted into the starting lineup.[10][11]

The Braves struggled again in 1971-1972, again finishing 22-60, but Kauffman was an All-Star for the second time, averaging 18.9 points and 10.2 rebounds. Kauffman had 44 points against Kareem Abdul Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks on November 13, 1971.[12]

Under new Coach Jack Ramsay, Kauffman was an All-Star again in 1972-1973, averaging 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds for the 21-61 Braves.[13][14]

In 1973-1974, the Braves improved to 42-40, making the playoffs. Kauffman became a reserve, averaging 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17 minutes, on a roster that included Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, Randy Smith and Gar Heard.[15]

Atlanta Hawks (1974-1975)[edit]

On May 20, 1974 Kauffman was drafted by the New Orleans Jazz from the Buffalo Braves in the NBA expansion draft. He was immediately traded by the Jazz in a landmark trade. He was traded with Dean Meminger, a 1974 1st round draft pick (Mike Sojourner was later selected), a 1975 1st round draft pick (David Thompson was later selected), a 1975 2nd round draft pick (Bill Willoughby was later selected), a 1976 2nd round draft pick (Alex English was later selected) and a 1980 3rd round draft pick (Jonathan Moore was later selected) to the Atlanta Hawks for Pete Maravich.[8]

With Chronic groin and hip problems limiting his play, Kauffman played the final season of his career with the 1974-1975 Hawks. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.5 points in 73 games for the 31-51 Hawks, under Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons.[16][3]

Career totals[edit]

Kauffman played seven seasons in the NBA as a member of the Sonics, Chicago Bulls, Buffalo Braves, and Atlanta Hawks. A three-time All-Star (in 1971, 1972, and 1973), Kauffman averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds for his career. He had his statistically strongest season in 1970–71, when he averaged 20.4 points and 10.7 rebounds for the Braves.[17]

NBA executive/coaching career[edit]

He had a short career as an NBA team executive with the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. He spent two seasons as assistant general manager for the Hawks before Detroit hired him as the Pistons' general manager in 1977.[4] He was with the Pistons from May 25, 1977 to July 14, 1978.[18]

He served as coach of the Detroit Pistons in 1977-1978 after Herb Brown, was fired, going 29-29 in 58 games.[19] Kauffman eventually left the Pistons a disagreement with team owner Bill Davidson. Kauffman wanted to hire Cotton Fitzsimmons or Al Bianchi, for the coaching vacancy. Davidson wanted Dick Vitale from the University of Detroit. Vitale went 34-60 in his tenure as Pistons coach.[18][3][20]

Remembering Kauffman[edit]

Bob Kauffman died at the age of 69 peacefully one night as his heart stopped. Bob was a basketball player who played collegiately and professionally in the early 1960s to early 1970s. Although his career was not long he was able to accomplish many things throughout his time playing. Kauffman came from a relatively small college in which they competed other small colleges in the NAIA, a subdivision of the NCAA, Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was one of the prominent and promising players in all of college basketball at his time. When he was drafted he played for several different teams and was successful for all of them. Bob was able to make the NBA all star team in 3 of his 7 seasons, from 1971–1973. While at Guilford he was an all-American and one of the best to ever play in the NAIA, coming as a top 3 pick in the 1968 NBA draft. Many believe Bob Kauffman should have played longer but due to injury had to call it quits sooner than expected. Most people remember him as the pioneer of tough basketball. He is the original blue collar worker, always worked hard for shots, rebounds and especially defensively where he competed against some of the best to ever play the game. He was physical and a lot of people enjoyed watching that type of play

Some of Bob's more outstanding accolades from college include, 32 rebounds in a single game, 698 rebounds in a single season, while averaging 15.9 for his college career. He has made 943 career field goals, shot a very impressive 71.2 percent in single-season from the field, 273 free-throws attempted in a single-season, while shooting a total of 344 in a single-season, nearly one third of his career free-throws made which happens to be 684 and single-season free-throw attempts (344, 1966–67). These were all of his great stats released by his alma mater Guilford. Many believe the jersey worn by Kauffman when he played for the Buffalo Braves should be retired by the clippers since he was the original star of the program.

As reported by Bob Kauffman's death went extremely unnoticed in the sports world. He was the first real star for the Buffalo Braves, now the Los Angeles Clippers, making three consecutive appearances in the all-star game.

Kauffman is survived by his wife, Judy and four daughters; Lara, Joannah, Carey, and Kate. All of his daughters have had prolific basketball careers at the collegiate level for Georgia Tech, Duke, and Clayton University.


  • Kauffman was inducted into Guilford's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • Guiford College retired his jersey (#44) in 2009.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Detroit 1977–78 58 29 29 .500 4th in Midwest Missed playoffs
Career 58 29 29 .500


  1. ^ Sullivan, Jerry (July 28, 2015), "Bob Kauffman, Braves' first star player, dies at age 69", The Buffalo News
  2. ^ Friedlander, David. "Bob Kauffman remembered for 'larger than life' presence around Brookwood hoops community". Gwinnett Daily Post.
  3. ^ a b c d Northrop, Milt (August 1, 2015). "Kauffman was bright spot on early Braves teams".
  4. ^ a b c "Guilford Mourns Passing of Bob Kauffman '68". Guilford. July 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Guilford Mourns Passing of Bob Kauffman '68". Guilford College Athletics. July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  6. ^ C. G. Freightman, For the AJC. "Robert 'Bob' Kauffman, 69: He worked hard in NBA and through life". ajc.
  7. ^ "1968-69 Seattle SuperSonics Roster and Stats".
  8. ^ a b c "Bob Kauffman Stats".
  9. ^ "Bailey Howell Stats".
  10. ^ "1970-71 Buffalo Braves Roster and Stats".
  11. ^ "Bob Kauffman 1970-71 Game Log".
  12. ^ "1971-72 Buffalo Braves Roster and Stats".
  13. ^ "1972-73 Buffalo Braves Roster and Stats".
  14. ^ "Bob Kauffman 1971-72 Game Log".
  15. ^ "1973-74 Buffalo Braves Roster and Stats".
  16. ^ "1974-75 Atlanta Hawks Roster and Stats".
  17. ^ Bob Kauffman career statistics. Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
  18. ^ a b "Bob Kauffman NBA & ABA Basketball Executive Record".
  19. ^ "1977-78 Detroit Pistons Roster and Stats".
  20. ^ "Dick Vitale".