(21) 1969 Cincinnati Royals (41-41) vs. (40) 1974 Kansas City-Omaha Kings (33-49)
….Not very good….Oscar’s relationship with the team is already deteriorating at this point, though he averaged 25-6-10. Tom Van Arsdale had 19-5-3, Lucas had 18-18-4, and Connie Dierking had 16-9….
A huge letdown from 34-11, as Tiny played 35 games of 18-2-8. In the meantime, Jimmy Walker led them with 20-3-4, as Nate Williams had 16-4, Sam Lacey had 14-13-4, and Don Kojis had 13-5….
(22) 1977 Kansas City Kings (40-42) vs. (39) 1971 Cincinnati Royals (33-49)
Not a good team, as Tiny was in New York (on the Nets…they’d move to Jersey in 1978…). Ron Boone had 22-4-4, Brian Taylor had 17-3-4, Scott Wedman had 15-6-3, Richard Washington had 13-9, and Sam Lacey had 11-9-5…
There were two star rookies here, as Tiny Archibald (16-3-6) and Sam Lacey (14-11) both debuted…Tom Van Arsdale had 23-6, Johnny Green had 17-9, Flynn Robinson had 13-2-2, as Norm Van Lier was the point guard, averaging 16-7-10…(Here’s a question, would you rather have Tiny or Van Lier on your team…I’d do Van Lier, better defense, and his impressive stats don’t come from excessive use ((though he is playing 40 a night….that’s not too bad though….))).
(23) 1981 Kansas City Kings (40-42) vs. (38) 1955 Rochester Royals (29-43)
Otis Birdsong had 25-4-3, Wedman had 19-5, Phil Ford had 18-2-9, and Reggie King had 15-10, as Sam Lacey fell to 7-7-5. Jo Jo White is playing in his last year, finishing up with 13 games. You may not believe this, but this team made the West Finals, in one of the least marketable West Finals ever….Two 40-42 teams facing each other! Come see Birdsong and Wedman battle Moses and the Rockets! A nightmare for CBS….(One note: Houston is the only team between 1980 and 1989 to stop LA from reaching the Finals….they stopped them in 1981 and 1986…Pretty impressive…In 1990, they couldn’t win the West, so Portland made the Finals….then they made the Finals again in 1991….Very dominant stretch….).
Back to Rochester! Amazingly, this is a playoff team. One thing about them is….everyone is OLD….The stars from the early 50s are still there, but they are all over thirty…Bob Davies had 12-3-5, at age 35 (he’d retire after the year….), Bobby Wanzer had 13-5-3 (he’d last two more years), Jack Coleman had 13-10 (he’d be traded to St. Louis during next year…he retired after the Hawks ((FLUKE!!)) title run in 1958…), and Arnie Risen had 12-10 (he’d go till 1958 in Boston, leaving after the year…in conclusion, only Bobby Wanzer stays around….).
(24) 1967 Cincinnati Royals (39-42) vs. (37) 1997 Sacramento Kings (34-48)
OK team…Oscar had 31-6-11, Lucas had 18-19, Adrian Smith had 17-3, and Happy Hairston had 15-8.
Richmond had 26-4-4, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had 14-2-3, and Olden Polynice had 13-9.
(25) 1968 Cincinnati Royals (39-43) vs. (36) 1961 Cincinnati Royals (33-46)
Oscar had 29-6-10, Lucas had 22-19, and Connie Dierking had 16-10. Happy Hairston (17-7) was traded away….
Not a very bad year….I bet they beat 1968…Oscar debuted with 31-10-10 (9.7 assists), as Jack Twyman had 25-9, and Wayne Embry had 14-11. Bucky Bockhorn added 13-6-4…
(26) 1995 Sacramento Kings (39-43) vs. (35) 1957 Rochester Royals (31-41)
Richmond had 23-4-4, Walt Williams had 16-5-4, Brian Grant had 13-8, Spud Webb had 12-2-6, as Polynice had 11-9…Not awful, but not great either.
Our first Maurice Stokes team. Finally. He could play any position, center, guard, forward, you name it. A really good (though not great…) rebounder, and a great passer for anyone. He put up Russell like scoring numbers (though it was in a lower scoring environment…). He could even dribble well…..He put up 32-20-8 in his first game….He is up there as one of the most talented players ever. He did everything. If he ended up playing with Oscar, Lucas, Embry, and Twyman, at least 3-10 championships come with it. He’s the most versatile player of all time. He finished 2nd in boards this year, and third in assists with his 16-17-5 averages. Jack Twyman had 16-5….
(27) 1996 Sacramento Kings (39-43) vs. (34) 1956 Rochester Royals (31-41)
Richmond had 23-3-3, Polynice had 12-9, and Brian Grant had 14-7…Walt Williams (15-5-4) was traded…
Stokes’ rookie year! He finished 1st in boards, 8th in assists, and 10th in scoring...He had 17-16-5…Jack Twyman debuted with 14-7, as Jack Coleman had 14-10-4….
(28) 1984 Kansas City Kings (38-44) vs. (33) 1973 Kansas City-Omaha Kings (36-46)
Eddie Johnson had 22-6-4, Larry Drew had 16-2-8, and Mike Woodson had 15-3-3, as Reggie Theus had 16-3-7 after being traded here for 30 games….
Archibald’s famous 34-3-11 year…It got them 36 wins. Sam Lacey had 14-12….
(29) 2008 Sacramento Kings (38-44) vs. (32) 1970 Cincinnati Royals (36-46)
They finally ditched Bibby (after 15 games of 14-4-5) and left him in Atlanta. Kevin Martin had 24-5, Ron Artest had 21-6-4 and Brad Miller had 13-10…
The end of the Oscar era is right after this year (25-6-8). The Jerry Lucas (10-11) era ended when he was shipped out to San Francisco…Tom Van Arsdale had 23-7, Connie Dierking had 17-8, Johnny Green had 16-11, and Fred Foster had 15-4, as Norm Van Lier had 10-5-6….Bob Cousy played 7 games in a short-lived comeback…
(30) 1958 Cincinnati Royals (33-39) vs. (31) 1986 Sacramento Kings (37-45)
Stokes was 2nd in boards, and 3rd in assists this year, while having 17-18-6 numbers. But his career ended when a head injury went untreated (and he flew on a plane with it…Very sad. He died in 1970, 12 years after the injury…). Clyde Lovellette had 23-12, and Jack Twyman had 17-6….Not bad….
Last Kings team! Eddie Johnson had 19-5, Reggie Theus had 18-4-10, LaSalle Thompson had 13-10, and Mike Woodson had 16 points….
There we have it! The Kings. Some very, very memorable teams, and even more memorable players…Pretty good franchise, but one of the weaker ones that goes back to 1952….
Ladies and gentlemen, your Rochester/Cincinnati/Kansas City-Omaha/Kansas City Royals/Kings! Next, the best of the ABA teams, Gervin, Robinson, and Duncan decide to dominate on the Spur of the moment!