Owned by Italian Immigrant Danny Biasone the Syracuse Nationals begin to play in the National Basketball League, in the same year professional basketball was finally gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America that was based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams largely consisting of small Midwestern towns the Nationals ...
Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA as the foundation for an absorption was laid. Staying in the NBL, the Nationals signed Al Cervi to be player-coach as Dolph Schayes made his professional debut, leading the Nats to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make ...
With the NBA struggling financially and down to just eight teams Nationals Owner Danny Biasone and General Manager Leo Ferris suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that often ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone calculated a 24-second shot clock would ...
History of the Nationals
The Syracuse Nationals were a professional basketball team based in Syracuse, New York. The franchise was founded as the National Basketball League's (NBL) first expansion team in 1946 and joined the newly formed NBA after the NBL merged with its rival league, the Basketball Association of America (BAA), to create what is now known as today’s National Basketball Association. During their 16-year history from 1946 to 1963, they made seven playoff appearances and won one championship title in 1955.
The Nationals began their inaugural season with a 13–13 record but finished strong by winning 10 out of 11 games at one point during that year’s regular season campaign, which resulted in them making it into playoffs for the first time, where they eventually lost 4–2 against eventual champions Rochester Royals led by Hall Of Famer Red Holzman who later went on become head coach for Knicks dynasty teams 70s decade. In the 1949-50 season, the Nats had the best regular seasons finish ever when they went 44-24 under legendary player/coach Al Cervi, but unfortunately got swept 3-0 against George Mikan leading Minneapolis Lakers, who would go on win three championships titles next four years.
In 1954–55 however, things started turning around for the franchise when Dolph Schayes took over coaching duties while also playing the center position full-time due to his age catching up to him. The team finished 46 - 28 before going the way, beating Fort Wayne Pistons 4 – 3 Finals series, becoming only the second non-Boston Celtics or Minneapolis Lakers side to win Championship since the 1947 BAA merger forming the modern-day NBA we know today. After this success, though, fortunes quickly changed, and despite having several good players such as Hal Greer & Larry Costello, they failed to make playoffs during the last eight years of existence before relocating to the Philadelphia 76ers from 1964 onwards, thus ending the historic run once a proud organization the 1946 -1963 period.
Syracuse – Philadelphia
1946 – Present / National Basketball Association
1946 – 1949 / National Basketball League
1963 – Present / Philadelphia 76ers
1946 – 1963 / Syracuse Nationals
Nationals – The Syracuse Nationals were one of the most iconic teams in NBA history, and their nickname has a unique story behind it. The team was founded in 1946 by Danny Biasone, who wanted to bring professional basketball back to his hometown of Syracuse, New York. He chose the name “Nationals” as a tribute to his Italian-American heritage and because he felt it represented all aspects of American life – from sports to business.
Biasone also wanted the team's logo design to reflect this idea. He commissioned an artist named Bob Warfield, who came up with several concepts before settling on one featuring two stars representing North America and Europe above a red shield bearing three white stripes — each stripe symbolizing a part of Italy: Rome (red), Venice (white) and Florence (blue). This became known as "the National Shield," which is still used today by both current versions of the franchise - firstly when they moved from Philadelphia in 1963, becoming known as 'Philadelphia 76ers,' and secondly when they returned home again after being renamed 'New Jersey Nets' for 35 years until 2012.
The Nationals won their only championship during their tenure in 1955 under legendary coach Red Auerbach while playing at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena— now known affectionately among fans simply as ‘the Dome’ or ‘the Barn.' Although no longer together today, many diehard supporters remember them fondly for bringing prideful moments into people's lives throughout their 15-year lifespan!
NBA Championships 1
1983, 1967, 1955
1996 – Present / Wells Fargo Center
1967 – 1995 / The Spectrum
1963 – 1967 / Convention Hall & Philadelphia Arena
1951 – 1963 / Onondaga War Memorial
1946 – 1951 / State Fair Coliseum
2012 – Present / Joshua Harris
1996 – 2011 / Comcast Spectacor
1981 – 1996 / Harold Katz
1976 – 1981 / Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr.
1963 – 1976 / Irv Kosloff
1946 – 1963 / Daniel Biasone
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
2 / Moses Malone
3 / Allen Iverson
4 / Dolph Schayes
6 / Julius Erving
10 / Maurice Cheeks
13 / Wilt Chamberlain
15 / Hal Greer
24 / Bobby Jones
32 / Billy Cunningham
34 / Charles Barkley
– / Dave Zinkoff
*Blue is this team’s history