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Biofile Bob McAdoo Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Basketball Hall of Famer. NBA forward/center from 1972-1986 with Buffalo, New York, Boston, Detroit, New Jersey, LA Lakers, and Philadelphia. 

Ht: 6-9 Wt: 210

DOB: September 25, 1951 In: Greensboro, NC

First Basketball Memory: “I remember going to the YMCA and playing in the league tournaments when I first started. Because, believe it or not, it was the last sport I played. I was better in baseball and football and because my uncles kept telling me I was getting so tall, I had to start playing basketball. I started down at the Y. I started enjoying it and it ended up being the game for me.”

Basketball Inspirations: “Probably my first was Earl Monroe. Because I’m from Greensboro, North Carolina. I used to see him play at Winston-Salem State. And he used to average 40 points a game and it was just fantastic seeing him twirlin’ and whirlin’ and making those baskets. That’s when I said: I’d love to be a basketball player.”

Nicknames: “For me? People used to call me Can-Do. Spiderman. You know, all kinds of things [laughs].”

Hobbies/Interests: “Tennis. That’s why I’m here now (at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne, FL). I love tennis. I’ve got all my kids playing tennis growing up and I just love watching it on TV and watching it live when I have the chance.”

Favorite Movies: “Right off the bat…Amistad. Dances With Wolves. All the old stuff.”

Last Book Read: “Let me think…Mind Games. A book about athletics and sports psychology. I’m always trying to learn new stuff to impart on my younger daughter and son because they’re sportsmen.”

First Job: “Working at a fast food restaurant when I was 16 years old in Greensboro, North Carolina. (McDonalds?) No it was Ray’s Restaurant.”

Current Car: “Expedition (blue).”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Probably winning the (NBA) Most Valuable Player in 1975. I have two. That one and winning the NBA Championship with the Lakers.”

Most Painful Moment: “Probably right off the bat…I remember we lost a playoff game seven series to the Washington Bullets, at the time, we were up the whole game, the referee Mendy Rudy (Rudolph) had a heart attack during the game. We had a 30 minute break. When we resumed play, we had nothing left and they beat us in the seventh game, seven game series.”
Favorite Arena To Play: “Not really. As far as a stretch in my career, I loved playing in Italy after I left the NBA.”

Favorite Uniforms: “I like the Buffalo Braves blue uniforms.”

Closest NBA Friends: “Randy Smith, who is deceased. Now he just died. Foots Walker, who was a teammate of mine in junior college. He had a 9-10 year career in the NBA, he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets.”

Toughest Competitors Encountered: “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That sky hook was impossible to stop.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “Probably Michael Ray Richardson [laughs].”

Embarrassing Basketball Memory: “Not too many. Not too many I can think of.”

Funny Basketball Memory: “Not really. I was really serious when it came to my basketball.”

Strangest Game: “Probably when I was over in Europe. We had a European Cup game in the early rounds and the game ended in a tie. And we didn’t go into overtime. It just ended in a tie.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Oh, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Pete Sampras when he played. Arthur Ashe. Because Arthur Ashe is the reason I got interested in tennis. I ended up seeing the Arthur Ashe-Jimmy Connors match, I think 1975 Wimbledon. He upset Jimmy Connors and I’ve been a tennis fan ever since.”

Why Do You Love Tennis: “It’s one-on-one. You’ve got to figure it out for yourself. It’s like a chess game. You’ve got to be smart on the court, you’ve got to have all the strokes. You can’t depend on teammates. I just like the one-on-one competition.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Classy people. That’s one of the reasons I like tennis too. Because when I saw a guy like Arthur Ashe and now I see guys like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, they exude so much class for the sport. That’s what we need in every sport, basketball also.”

Career Accomplishments: Two-time NBA Champion (1982, 1985); Inducted to Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000; Three NBA Scoring titles; 1973 NBA Rookie Of The Year; Five-time NBA All-Star; Averaged 30 points a game and 15 rebounds a game in 1973-74; 18,787 total NBA points; 8,084 total NBA rebounds; 1,147 total NBA blocked shots.

(Artwork by LeRoy Neiman.)

About Mark Malinowski

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