The history of the Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings is a National Basketball franchise with a storied history. The team was born in 1945 in Rochester, New York and was known as the Rochester Royals. Since then it has been bought and sold and a part of several city's professional sports' scenes.

After World War II, the National Basketball League (NBL) evolved from a regional semi-pro league when it saw an opportunity for a major professional basketball league to thrive. The Rochester Pros was one of the top professional teams in the country at that time; and when invited to join the NBL for the 1945-1946 season, they renamed themselves the Rochester Royals.

The team was an immediate success and won the NBL championship its first two seasons; and although they had the best record in the league the third season, they ended up losing the season ending tournament.
The Royals moved over to the competing professional basketball organization, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1948, but a year later the BAA merged with the NBL and became the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 1951, the Royals won their one-and-only NBA championship title to date.

In all, the franchise spent 12 years in Rochester, NY. In 1957, the team's owners moved the Royals to Cincinnati, Ohio, after five straight years of losing money in Rochester. Cincinnati was chosen because there was a strong following of college basketball and there wasn't another NBA franchise in the area.

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Although the team started out strong in Cincinnati, they were never able to put together a championship season there. After years of decline, the franchise was moved to Kansas City in 1972, where they became known as the Kings because Kansas City's professional baseball team that was called the Royals.

The franchise was officially known as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings until 1975 because it divided it's home games between the two cities. After leaving their part-time allegiance Omaha, the Kansas City Kings had mild success and even made the playoffs in the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons. Nonetheless, the team's popularity was waning and star players and coaches were being wooed away by other teams. The Kansas City owners eventually sold to Sacramento-based ownership interests.

The Kings moved to Sacramento, California in the 198586 season, and have been based there ever since. During their first Sacramento season they made it as far as the Western Conference playoffs; but didn't see that level of success again until the mid 1990s. Now, after years of disappointment, the Sacramento Kings will start the 2009-10 season with a new coach and hopes of becoming tops in the league once again.

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