Five years ago, he won his third successive scoring title and appeared destined to take his place among the most profilic scorers in NBA history. Today, at age 30, Bob McAdoo is unemployed, with no real hope of landing a job in his chosen profession.

McAdoo's reported $525,000-a-year contract expired over the summer. The only offer the 6-foot-9 center has received was a $300,000-a-year pact from the New Jersey Nets in July.

"We got one offer in July that was totally unacceptable," said Bill Madden, McAdoo's attorney. "A week ago last Thursday, I talked with the Nets again and I thought we were reasonably close. Then, apparently, they decided they'd rather sign Len Elmore."

After compiling a 26.7 scoring average -- sixth on the all-time list -- in eight seasons, McAdoo suffered a series of injuries. He played in 16 games last season, six for Detroit and 10 after the Nets picked up the final month of his contract.

Larry Brown, the Nets' new coach, initially said he wanted McAdoo, but now has changed his mind. He says he has a group of young, enthusiastic players and he's concerned about McAdoo's attitude and its effect on the team. The Nets are badly in need of a center because Mike Gminski has been slow recovering from a staph infection, but apparently not to the extent they're ready to gamble on a malcontent.

"If I were McAdoo, I'd get on the phone and beg," Brown said when asked about the stalled negotiations. General Manager Bob MacKinnon says the Nets' interest is waning.

"I don't think so," MacKinnon said when asked if the Nets still were interested in McAdoo. "He hasn't done anything in the last two years. His demands are too high. If he wanted to play at a reasonable salary and prove himself, then we'd be interested."