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Mel Daniels
Born July 20, 1944 (1944-07-20) (age 65)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
High school Pershing (Detroit)
College New Mexico
Draft 9th, 1967
Cincinnati Royals
Pro career 1967–1977
Former teams Minnesota Muskies
Indiana Pacers
Memphis Sounds
New York Nets

Melvin Joe Daniels (born July 20, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan) is a retired American professional basketball player.

A 6' 9" center, he played for the University of New Mexico Lobo men's basketball team from 1964-67. He was the ninth pick of the 1967 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, selected by the Cincinnati Royals, and was also drafted by the Minnesota Muskies of the American Basketball Association (ABA). He chose to play in the fledgling ABA, and became one of its all-time greatest players.

Daniels was the ABA Rookie of the Year for the 1967-68 season before being traded to the Indiana Pacers, then of the ABA and now in the NBA. Daniels was the ABA Most Valuable Player in both 1969 and 1971 and led the Pacers to three ABA championships. Daniels played in seven ABA All-Star Games, and was named the ABA All-Star Game MVP in the 1971 game.[1] Daniels led the ABA in rebounding average in three different seasons, and is the ABA's all-time leader in total rebounds (9,494) and career rebounding average (15.1 rebounds per game).[2] Daniels also grabbed 1608 career postseason rebounds, ranking in the top twelve in professional basketball history.[3] Daniels played briefly for the NBA's New York Nets in the 1976-77 season.

After his playing days, Daniels joined the coaching staff of his college coach, Bob King, at Indiana State, where he coached future Hall of Famer Larry Bird. Daniels joined the Indiana Pacers front office in 1986 and was the team's Director of Player Personnel until October 2009[4].

Mel Daniels is one of the few ABA Most Valuable Players not called up to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, aside from former ABA players already admitted such as: Connie Hawkins (1992), Dan Issel (1993), and David Thompson (1996).

Daniels is one of four players (the others are Roger Brown, Reggie Miller, and George McGinnis) to have his jersey (#34) retired by the Pacers.


  1. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia,. Villard Books. 1994. p. 240. ISBN 0-679-43293-8.  
  2. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia,. Villard Books. 1994. p. 209. ISBN 0-679-43293-8.  
  3. ^
  4. ^ Wells, Mike (October 23, 2009). "Pacers fire Mel Daniels". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2009-10-23.  

External links

Preceded by
Jack Ramsay
Indiana Pacers head coach
1988 (interim)
Succeeded by
George Irvine
Preceded by
league founded
American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Warren Jabali
Preceded by
Connie Hawkins
American Basketball Association Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Spencer Haywood
Preceded by
Spencer Haywood
American Basketball Association Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Artis Gilmore
Preceded by
Spencer Haywood
American Basketball Association All Star Game Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Dan Issel

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