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1970-71
The franchise's first owner was Paul Snyder, who brought in NBA great Dolph Schayes to coach the Braves in their inaugural season. The team fielded the usual motley expansion crew. The starters included 6-8 center Bob "Horse" Kauffman, who had averaged 4.3 points the previous season with the Chicago Bulls; 6-4 forward Don May, who had been good for 2.6 points per game for the 1969-70 New York Knickerbockers; guard Eldo "Dick" Garrett, who brought a scoring average of 11.6 points per game from the Los Angeles Lakers; Emmette Bryant, who had scored 7.8 points per game with the Boston Celtics; and rookie John Hummer, a 6-9 forward out of Princeton.

The first-year Braves achieved typical expansion-team results, finishing the 1970-71 campaign with a 22-60 record and in last place in the Atlantic Division. Despite the poor showing, Buffalo was not the worst team in the league-fellow expansion club Cleveland spared the Braves that embarrassment by losing 15 in a row to start the season and posting a 15-67 record overall.

The Braves did produce a pair of 20-point scorers in Kauffman (20.4 ppg) and May (20.2). For May it was the only season in his seven-year career in which he averaged more than 10 points. Kauffman was rewarded for his efforts with a berth in the 1971 NBA All-Star Game.
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