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Cincinnati Royals of the NBA

One of the NBA’s original teams was the Rochester Royals. In fact, the Royals won an NBA Championship in 1951. But, Rochester was not an ideal location as the NBA was trying to grow and establish itself in larger cities. So, after the 1956-57 season, the Royals packed up and left for Cincinnati. Cincinnati welcomes the Royals with open arms – at least at first. Tragedy struck the team early on as young and upcoming star Maurice Stokes suffered a devastating head injury and that certainly affected the Royals performance on the floor. And while the tragedy of Stokes is a huge part of the Royals legacy in Cincinnati, they did enjoy some success on the court, particularly in the mid-1960s when they were led by one of the NBA’s all-time greats: Oscar Robertson. However, not even the “BIG O” could get the Royals over the hump and into the NBA Finals. The Royals made the Conference Finals in back-to-back season, 1963 and 1964, but like every other team in the NBA, they couldn’t get past the Boston Celtics. The Royals last appearance in the playoffs was 1967, and by the time 1972 rolled around, it was basically a forgone conclusion that NBA basketball, at least in the form of the Royals, would not make it in Cincinnati and the team relocated to Kansas City (splitting time, at first, in Omaha) and is now known as the Sacramento Kings. Of course, there’s a lot more to the Royals history in Cincinnati and joining Sports’ Forgotten Heroes to talk more about the short history of the Cincinnati Royals is Gerry Schultz the author of, Cincinnati’s Basketball Royalty: A Brief History: A LOOK BACK at 15 years of Cincinnati Royals NBA Basketball”.

Links:

The NBA Team That Couldn’t

Cincinnati Royals (Sacramento Kings) Team Stats

Cincinnati Royals – Team History

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