Knicks, 76ers game to mark 50th anniversary of Syracuse Nationals’ move from city
More than 50 years ago, Syracuse was home to more than just minor league and college sports. The city was home to an NBA champion.
In 1955 the Syracuse Nationals won their only NBA championship. Eight years later, the team moved to Philadelphia to become the 76ers. Syracuse has been left without a professional sports team ever since.
But to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that move, the Carrier Dome will play host to a preseason game between the 76ers and the New York Knicks tonight at 7 p.m.
“As we celebrate our 50th season in Philadelphia, it’s important to remember our Syracuse roots while looking forward to the exciting season we have ahead of us,” Philadelphia CEO and co-owner Adam Aron said in a September press release. “What fun to see the Sixers take on our division rivals in this historic hometown game.”
The star of that championship team, Dolph Schayes, still resides in Syracuse. The 12-time All-Star and NBA Hall of Famer is excited to see professional basketball return to Syracuse, even if it is just for one game
“I’m thrilled to see the franchise return to play a game in Syracuse,” Schayes said in the press release. “This will bring excitement to generations of fans in central New York who have heard of the great basketball tradition the Nationals started in the area back in the 50’s and early 60’s, which has been carried on by Syracuse University.”
The game also marks Carmelo Anthony’s return to the Carrier Dome.
Anthony, who was named Most Outstanding Player during the Orangemen’s run to the 2003 national championship, returned to the Carrier Dome for Orange Madness last year, but just as a spectator.
Tonight will be the second time Anthony has returned to play on the Carrier Dome court in a competitive game since his freshman season at SU. Anthony played a preseason game in the Carrier Dome in 2008 while a member of the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted third overall in the 2003 NBA Draft.
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