Why did Mel Daniels didn't play in the 1975-1976 season?

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Why did Mel Daniels didn't play in the 1975-1976 season?

Postby kovit123 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:37 pm

I would please like to know why did Mel Daniels didn't played in the final ABA season in 1975-1976? Does he get injured or retired before playing with the Nets for 11 games in 1976-1977 NBA season?
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Postby Mike Goodman » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:14 pm

In his last full season, 1974-75, Mel was with the lousy Memphis Tams (or Sounds, or whatever they were called that year). He was playing just 25 Min/game then, and while he could still rebound and block shots, his shooting% was .066 off his career best, his scoring was just 68% of its peak, and he fouled a lot more than he ever had.

He'd already begun to seriously decline the previous year, with the Pacers.

Who knows why he didn't at least begin the 1975-76 season with some team? It's possible he'd have been out of a job once teams began to fold. He was clearly over the hill, and unlikely to start for a good team again.

The '77 Nets were really bad, and they tried him out. He could still block some shots, but that's about it. He was about half the rebounder he'd once been.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:07 pm

Keith Ellis wrote:...Daniels didn't "decline" so noticeably in his final Pacer season. ...

Well, after shooting around 49% FG for 5 years, he dropped to 44% for 1974. In the playoffs that year, he shot 40%.
Compounding this loss, his FTA frequency declined 20%, and his rebound rates dipped.
http://www.basketball-reference.com/pla ... eme01.html

By any statistical measure, he peaked '71 and '72, dropped off some in '73, then a lot more in '74.
Why do so many big men have back trouble?

When Mel was assistant-coach for 'bigs' with the Pacers, he was trying to get more assertiveness out of someone (Stipo? Smits?). He said that when a big man goes to the rim, parents of small children in attendance should want to cover their kids' eyes. I always liked that.
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Postby wojoaderge » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:33 am

He did go to training camp with Baltimore
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Postby meej » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:43 pm

On Mel Daniels decline in his last season with the Pacers:

Two-time MVP came under heavy criticism in Indianapolis during poor (15.4 ppg 11.6 rpg) 1973-74 [season].

(The Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball - 1975 Edition; Ed. Zander Hollander)

It seems that Mel Daniels was indeed considered in decline by local contemporary sources, although the writer in Hollander's handbook seems to imply that he does not agree with such criticism. That does not prove anything regarding his actual performance level, but it illustrates general views at the time.
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Postby MCT » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:39 pm

wojoaderge wrote:He did go to training camp with Baltimore

One of the few players from the previous year's Memphis team to move east with the franchise, Daniels was still in training camp with the Claws when the ABA suspended the team's operations on October 20. That was just a few days before teams needed to cut down to their final 11-man regular season rosters (I believe that rosters needed to be finalized by the end of the day on the October 23). So Daniels may have made the team had it not folded. On the other hand, like everything else about the Claws, their roster seems to have been in complete disarray. They still had 16 players in camp, including one who had just been a signed a day or two earlier (Stan Love). Several cuts were still to be made.

On October 21, the ABA held a dispersal draft to assign the Claws' players to other teams. Seven players were selected. Daniels was among the nine who were not claimed. Given the timing of the dispersal draft, most teams likely had their rosters more-or-less finalized by the time the draft was held.

remembertheaba.com says "Daniels' stellar eight-year ABA career ended on this note, as he decided to retire rather than play for another ABA team." (see http://www.remembertheaba.com/Baltimore-Claws.html). I don't know how much stock to put in this statement, though. Like Allen Iverson earlier this season, Daniels may very well have decided to "retire" after it became apparent that no other teams were interested in him at the moment. In those days, it seems to have been fairly common for players who were not playing for whatever reason (e.g., holding out, sitting out their option year) to claim they were "retiring".
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