NBA Kings File for Name Change to Avoid LA NHL Side Conflict

March 18, 2011

National Basketball Association (NBA) side the Sacramento Kings have taken another step toward a potential move to Southern California and exploring relocation to Anaheim after a Sacramento attorney representing the team’s owners filed for at least four federal trademark registrations this month.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website, among the names filed were: Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals.

The name change would be a throwback to the franchise’s earlier days when the well-traveled franchise was first known as the Rochester Royals during the league’s opening season in 1949. The side went on to win the 1951 title before moving to Cincinnati in 1957.

The newly name Cincinnati Royals then moved again to Kansas City in 1972 and agreed to change their nickname to the Kings to avoid conflict with baseball’s Kansas City Royals, who joined the AL in 1969.

When the side moved to Sacramento in 1985 they kept their new nickname and have done ever since. However, another name change is highly likely if the club relocates 35 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, where the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings have played since 1967.