On Day 51 of our 100 Days of Hoops, we talk about the team that stopped the Minneapolis Lakers from winning six straight titles.
Led by center Arnie Risen, nicknamed “Stilts”, Bob Davies and Jack Coleman, the Royals went 41-27 and finished 2nd in the West behind the (Minnesota) Lakers. While the Royals played with the slowest pace in the league at 92 possessions per game, they had the number one offensive rating that season. The Royals were also number one in field goal percentage and beat the New York Knicks in the 1951 NBA Finals in seven games to take home the franchise’s only championship.
The Royals are currently the Sacramento Kings and have only made the conference finals once since they’ve played in Sacramento. They began as the Rochester Seagrams, then the Rochester Pros in semi-pro leagues, they soon became the Royals and stayed in Rochester until 1957. The Royals moved to Cincinnati for fifteen years, then became the Kansas City Kings for ten years. Every season not proving to be much for this franchise even though it is one of the oldest in basketball history.
This franchise should be primarily remembered as the Royals unless the Kings bring home a title. Unfortunately, after the Royals won their only championship, the players on the team separated and the team didn’t profit off of the title. The Royals franchise featured nine hall-of-famers. You can also blame the NBA for the team leaving Rochester as they pressured former Rochester Royal Les Harrison to sell the team to Kansas City after the Cincinnati stint. The franchise is known for drafting Oscar Robertson, who won the 1964 MVP and led the league in assists six times throughout the 1960s. Robertson could have played in Rochester if the NBA didn’t pressure a former NBA player to selling the team.
The Kings embrace the Rochester Royals by holding its championship banner in Sacramento.
Now that Nike is making NBA uniforms, we may not see the Kings rock a retro Rochester Royals uniform like they did in the past.