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1966–67 Cincinnati Royals season: Wikis


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The 1966-67 season was the Royals 22nd overall, and their tenth in Cincinnati.

The season opened in the glare of their disappointing loss to Boston in the previous season's playoffs. It was considered a rebuilding season with some key roster changes. Long-time stars Jack Twyman and Wayne Embry had both retired, both unhappy with their roles on the team the previous year. Tom Hawkins had rejoined the contending Los Angeles Lakers.

Local college star Conrad 'Connie' Dierking was promoted to starting center, with promising rookie Walt Wesley his backup. First Team All-Pros Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson were again the focus of the team. Happy Hairston and Bobby Love saw minutes at forward next to Lucas, while Adrian Smith and Flynn Robinson saw minutes at guard next Robertson.

Clearly rebuilding, the Royals had little hope of matching rivals Boston and Philadelphia this season, as they had a season ago. The team finished third in the NBA's Eastern Division.

Individual performances and off-court activities by Robertson and Lucas marked the season. Robertson was head of the NBA's Player Union and fought for the advancement of players rights on a number of issues. He also posted another Hall Of Fame calibre season as a scorer, accurate shooter, passer and free thrower. Lucas was involved in several off-court business ventures, including his own fast food chain, Jerry Lucas Beef-N-Shakes. While injuries effected him this season, he remained one of best rebounders in NBA history. He also continued to see time at centre for the team as well as forward. Both he and Robertson continued to play huge minutes for the team, rarely leaving the court during games.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the year was that Art Modell, head of the NFL Cleveland Browns, agreed to sponsor nine home games at the Cleveland Arena over the course of the season. The Cleveland crowds were consistently among the largest the Royals were cheered by that season.

The Royals made the playoffs for their last time while based in Cincinnati. They drew 68-13 record-setting powerhouse Philadelphia as their opponent. Shocking the 76ers with a victory on their own court in Game One, the Royals were then routed over the remaining games of the series to conclude their transitional season.



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