Today in History: The NBA Officially Leaves CNY, Syracuse Nationals Move to Philadelphia

On May 22nd, 1963, eight years after they defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in Game 7 of the 1955 championship series to win their sole NBA title, the Syracuse Nationals were sold by owner Danny Biasone (co-inventor of the 24-second shot clock with Leo Ferris) to Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman, who moved the team to Philadelphia. The team was renamed the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers in honor of the men who were responsible for the formation of the United States in 1776. The loss of the NBA team enabled Syracuse University‘s basketball program to enjoy a resurgence in popularity that continues to this day.

The playoff overtime loss on March 26th, 1963 would prove to be the last game for the Syracuse Nationals. The NBA approved the franchise shift on May 22nd and name change August 6th, returning professional basketball to Philadelphia one year after the Warriors moved to California.

More about the Nationals (via NBA): The Syracuse Nationals, went 51-13 in their first NBA season under Al Cervi, and won the Eastern Division crown.The team was very successful in Syracuse, reaching the NBA final in both 1950 and 1954 both times losing to the Minneapolis Lakers.They finally broke through in 1955, taking their first, and only, NBA title by defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons 92-91 on April 10,1955, taking the series 4-3.The team posted winning records in 11 of its 14 seasons in Syracuse.