Syracuse Nationals HISTORY

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Quick facts:

Founded:    1946 
Relocated:  1963
NBL Titles: 0
NBA Titles: 1  1955  
Playoffs:   13

The Nationals began in 1946 when Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone spent $5,000 to buy the rights to found the team in the NBL. The Nationals were the NBL's eastern most team and were partly formed to counter the rival BAA's presence in major cities such as New York and Philadelphia.

The Nationals, along with the NBL, merged with the BAA in 1949 to form the NBA. The Nationals found success behind superstar Dolph Schayes. Schayes would lead the Nationals to the franchises first title in 1955.

In 1963, following the Warriors relocation to San Francisco, the Nationals moved to Philadelphia and became the Sixers.

NBA Pioneer Dolph Schayes Passes Away at Age 87

Schayes was a star big man in his basketball career for the Syracuse Nationals, the precursor to the Philadelphia 76ers. Thought, unlike, other bigs of his era, Schayes possessed the ball handling skills of a guard. His ball handling and passing ability made him nearly unstoppable and ranks him second in the early NBA era of big men behind only George Mikan.

He was drafted by the Knicks of the BAA and by the Waterloo Hawks of the NBL, but the Hawks sold his rights to the Syracuse Nationals. The Nationals offered Schayes more money than the Knicks, so high signed there instead of joining the bigger market Knicks.

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