Originally based Rochester. In their first year in Cincinnati (1957/58) finished 3rd with a record of 33-39. In the following year they finished in last place with a 19-53 record. It wasn't much better in 1959/60 when they finished with a record of 19-56. However they selected University of Cincinnati star Oscar Robertson in the draft.
He made an immediate impact winning the Rookie of the Year by averaging 30.5 ppg, 10.1 boards and 9.7 assists per game. However they finished in last place with a record of 33-46. In 1961/62 all 5 starters averaged double digits points per games as the team ended a 4-year playoff drought. In the playoffs the Royals losst to the Detroit Pistons.
When the Warriors move to San Francisco, the Royals moved from the Western Division to the Eastern Division. They reached the East finals losing to the Celtics. With the draft of Ohio State star Jerry Lucas the Royals finished in 2nd place with a 55-25 record. Again they lost in the East Finals against the Celtics. In 1965/66 the Celtics made it three in a row over the Royals.
By 1971/72 the Royals had missed the playoffs for the 5th year in a row. Prior to the season the Royals were sold to a group of 10 Kansas City businessmen, who paid $5 million for the team, who decided to move the team following the season to the Midwest where they would be reborn as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.