One of possible targets for relocation of the Cincinnati Royals was San Diego, which had lost the Rockets to Houston in 1971. However, it was decided to move the team to Kansas City, while also playing some of the home games in Omaha and St. Louis. This was not a new business plan for the team, as some of their Cincinnati home dates were played in Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton. St. Louis fell out of the equation somewhere along the line, but Omaha stayed a second home for the team for several years.
One of the ramifications of moving to Kansas City was the team name… They could not keep the name “Royals” because of the baseball team of the same name, but they maintained an air of regality and officially changed their name to the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.
Nate Archibald was selected in the second round of the 1970 NBA draft (19th pick) by the Cincinnati Royals. He was also drafted by the Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association.
The team netted a new superstar in Nate Archibald, who led the league in scoring and assists in the 1972 – 1973 season. The Kings later played several home games in St. Louis during the early 1980s to large crowds.
In 1972 – 1973 season, Archibald led the NBA in scoring and assists, becoming the only player to win the titles in both categories in the same season. (In the 1967 – 1968 season, Oscar Robertson led the NBA in points and assists per game but did not win the titles because they were based on totals rather than averages at the time.) His scoring average of 34.0 points per game broke the NBA record for a guard. His 910 assists that season (11.4 assists per game) was also an NBA record at the time, breaking Guy Rodgers’ mark of 908. He was named the Sporting News NBA MVP that season.
The Royals, on moving to Kansas City, renamed themselves the Kings to avoid confusion with the Royals baseball team. The team initially divided its home games between Kansas City and Omaha until 1975, when it abandoned the Omaha market. During that time the team was officially called the “Kansas City-Omaha Kings”. The move from Omaha marked the opening of the 16,785-seat Kemper Arena in Kansas City. During the first days the Kings played at the 7,316-seat Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City and the 9,300-seat Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha.
Rochester – Cincinnati – Kansas City – Sacramento
1949 – Present / National Basketball Association
1948 – 1949 / Basketball Association of America
1945 – 1948 / National Basketball League
1923 – 1945 / Various Unknown Leagues
1985 – Present / Sacramento Kings
1975 – 1985 / Kansas City Kings
1972 – 1975 / Kansas City-Omaha Kings
1957 – 1972 / Cincinnati Royals
1923 – 1957 / Rochester Royals
Kings – When moving to Kansas City, renamed themselves the Kings to avoid confusion with the Royals baseball team. Still in the theme of royalty.
NBA Championships 0
2016 – Present / Golden 1 Center
2012 – 2016 / Sleep Train Arena
2011 – 2012 / Power Balance Pavilion
1888 – 2010 / ARCO Arena II
1985 – 1988 / ARCO Arena I
1974 – 1985 / Kemper Arena
1972 – 1978 / Omaha Civic Auditorium
1972 – 1974 / Kansas City Municipal Auditorium
1957 – 1972 / Cincinnati Gardens
1955 – 1957 / Rochester War Memorial
1949 – 1954 / Edgerton Park Arena
1923 – 1948 / Unknown Arena
2013 – Present / Vivek Ranadive
1999 – 2013 / George, Joe and Gavin Maloof
1992 – 1999 / Jim Thomas
1985 – 1992 / Gregg Lukenbill and Joe Benvenuti
1959 – 1985 / Thomas Woods
1923 – 1959 / Les and Jack Harrison
Who is the greatest Kansas City Kings?
1 Nate Archibald
2 Mitch Richmond
4 Chris Webber
6 Sacramento Fans “The Sixth Man”
11 Bob Davies
12 Maurice Stokes
14 Oscar Robertson
16 Peja Stojakovic
21 Vlade Divac
27 Jack Twyman
44 Sam Lacey
1997 – Present / Slamson the Lion
*Blue is this team’s history