Actually, if it hasn't already been noted, Ernie suffered a severe knee injury in his second year in Buffalo which destroyed his effectiveness. Not sure when the leukemia came into play, but I do believe that was farther down the road.
"DiGregorio only played 31 games in the 1974-75 season because of severe knee injuries, a 50 game drop from his 1973-74 campaign. Despite this, Bob McAdoo won the MVP while averaging 34.5 PPG and 14.1 REB. The Braves' record jumped up seven wins from their previous season, and they made the playoffs again. However, they were bounced in the first round.
Ernie's numbers dropped across the board in this season, with his PPG being nearly cut in half to 7.8 and his assist numbers falling to 4.9 per game. In the next season, his numbers stayed around the same, except for the fact that Ernie managed to play 67 games in that season. Then in the 1976-77 season, he played 81 games and reclaimed his free throw title, making 94.5% of his shots at the charity stripe that year.
But still, his other stats were lackluster when compared to his rookie numbers. His PPG was at 10.7 in this '77 season, with his assists being just as average at a 4.7 mark."