The team you know now as the Sacramento Kings has quite a vibrant history as a team, dating as far back as 1923. In the 97 years since the original team was established, the Sacramento Kings have been known by eight different names and have played for four different cities in the United States. Now let’s go over everything you didn’t know about the Kings, including the team’s complete history, previous home arenas, and the jerseys and logos used over the years.
The Beginning Years
The Sacramento Kings first began as a semi-professional team based out of Rochester, New York and sponsored by Seagram, a team known as the Rochester Seagrams. The team eventually strayed away from the Seagram sponsor and became the professional team called the Rochester Royals.
In 1945, the team coached by Lester Harrison was eventually purchased by Harrison and his brother for a mere $25,000 to become a part of the National Basketball League. The team developed a unique strategy and recruited players returning home from World War II in 1945. Just a few short years later, the Rochester Royals would become an official team in the NBA.
In its first few years in the league, the Royals typically found themselves in the playoffs and even proved victorious against the New York Knicks in the 1951 NBA Finals. The team was then taken over by a 5-time all-star player by the name of Bobby Wanzer in 1955. Shortly after, the team would be encouraged to relocate out of Rochester.
The team formerly known as the Rochester Royals would then be known as the Cincinnati Royals after relocating to Ohio in 1957. During the team’s 15 years in Cincinnati, players like Maurice Strokes, Clyde Lovellette, and George King would eventually join the squad. 1960 saw the entrance of future Hall of Famer and leading scorer in the entire NBA, Oscar Robertson.
The Royals were eventually sold to wealthy businessmen by the names of Jeremy and Max Jacobs back in 1966. Yet, the team would again relocate to Kansas City in 1972, officially changing its name to the Kings. Only 13 years later in 1985, the Kings would finally settle down in Sacramento, where it would take another 11 years to finally qualify for a playoff.
With a team constantly transitioning from one city to another while also changing its name, it’s no surprise that the team has gone through its fair share of logos too.
1985 - 1986
The first jersey connected to the Kings in Sacramento was established in 1985 and used a pale blue color with “Kings” written in a white script and all lettering outlined in a red border.
1986 - 1994
Between 1986 and 1994, the jersey essentially inverted the coloring of the original jersey, this time with a dark blue script and a white jersey.
1994 - 2002
In 1994, the jersey again changed, remaining mostly white, but using a neater all capital blue font for the team name and number
2002 - 2008
The team switched to a dark purple jersey between 2002 and 2008, using a white “Sacramento” on the jersey rather than the typical “Kings” that has been used thus far.
2008 - 2014
The team jersey remained purple with a change in design in 2008, returning to a jersey labeled with “Kings,” using a brand new font, and printing lettering in black instead of the previous white.
2014 - 2016
The 2014 to 2016 Kings jersey used a much easier to read font on an all-white jersey with purple lettering all around.
2016 - Today
The most recent jersey for the kings was created in 2016 and is mostly white with purple lettering and a grey vertical stripe down the side.