On This Date: Knicks beat the Cincinnati Royals

January 16, 1960: The New York Knicks blowout the Cincinnati Royals 

The Knicks blew out the Cincinnati Royals 132-106. The Knicks had 8 players in double figures as Willie Naulls led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Jack George scored 20 points, Richie Guerin scored 16, and Jim Palmer scored 15 as well to lead the Knicks quarter.

The 1959-60 season began a stretch of several losing seasons for the Knicks. The team only started to win games once they drafted Walt “Clyde” Frazier. As a result, the Knicks fielded a roster with many players  that seem to fall out of place in team history.1

Jack George spent 8 years in the NBA as a point guard, with the last 2 years as a member of the Knicks. A native of Pennsylvania, George spent his first 6 seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors. Of his accomplishments, he won an NBA championship in 1956 with the Warriors and had 2 All-Star appearances. He was known for racking assists, as evidenced by being in the top 10 in assists during 6 of his NBA seasons. George passed away in 1989.

Jim Palmer spent 3 seasons in the NBA as a forward. He also spent two seasons with the Knicks and had relatively meager stats. He spent a season in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL) as part of the Peoria Cats.

The purpose of the league was to give mill workers an opportunity to play basketball as the league mostly consisted of employees of industrial companies. The league formed in 1947 with the teams from the National Basketball League that did not merge with the NBA. Due to increasing salaries in the NBA, many teams in the NIBL folded. As the sponsorships for the NIBL shifted away from industrial companies, the NIBL was renamed into the National AAU Basketball League (NABL).

Palmer also spent a season in the American Basketball League (ABL). The ABL formed in 1961 as a rival league to the NBA. It consisted of teams previously in the NABL. One of those franchise owners was the late George Steinbrenner of the Cleveland Pipers. One of Steinbrenner’s players was future Knick and NBA Champion Jerry Lucas. The ABL had some then-radical rule changes including the addition of the 3 point line, a 30 second shot clock, and a wider free throw line. Unfortunately, inconsistent attendance, lack of funding, expensive air travel, and rising debts led to the demise of the ABL as the league folded before 1963.

The Cincinnati Royals eventually moved to Kansas City and became the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. The team eventually moved to Sacramento in 1985 and is now known as the Sacramento Kings.

 

Knicks legend Willie Naulls passes away at 84

Knicks legend Willie Naulls passed away on November 22nd at the age of 84 due to a respiratory failure from Churg-Strauss Syndrome.

Naulls spent seven seasons with the Knicks after playing only 19 games with the St. Louis Hawks. As a Knick, Naulls averaged 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds a game and made the NBA All-Star team four times.

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He also served the honor of being Knicks captain. He was the first black athlete to hold such a post for any team in a major American sport, according to the Knicks.

While Naulls wasn’t able to win a championship with the Knicks, but he spent the final three seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics where he won a championship each year.