Minnesota Muskies

Minnesota Muskies

Floridians Timeline


Minnesota Muskies Team Formation

The Minnesota Muskies was a charter member of the American Basketball Association, born with the league's creation on February 2, 1967. L.P. Shields and Fred Jefferson were the owners after paying a franchise fee of $30,000. The team then played one season in Minnesota before moving to Miami, Florida to become The Floridians. The team colors were blue and gold and games were played in the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Relocate to Miami

The owners decided to relocate the franchise to Miami on May 24, 1968 for the 1968 - 1969 ABA season. Prior to the start of that season, the team was forced to sell Daniels to the Indiana Pacers for cash to pay off accumulated debts.

Miami Floridians

The Floridians never attracted a large following, despite numerous promotions including ballgirls wearing white bikinis and go-go boots. However, the team did manage to make the playoffs three out of the four years of their existence. The Floridians' first homes were the Miami Beach Convention Center and the Convention Center Annex. Coached by former Minneapolis Lakers great Jim Pollard, the 1968 - 1969 season was the most successful for the Miami Floridians by far, finishing their first season in Florida with a 43-35 record and defeating the Minnesota Pipers who ironically played in the city the Floridians had just abandoned in the Eastern Division semifinals 4 games to 3, before losing in the divisional finals to the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1.

The Floridians Creation

Following the 1969 - 1970 season, new owner Ned Doyle dropped "Miami" from the team's name and made it a "regional" franchise, scheduling games in Miami back at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Tampa-St. Petersburg at the Curtis Hixon Hall and Bayfront Arena, Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, and in West Palm Beach at the West Palm Beach Auditorium. In an unprecedented move, Doyle "fired" the entire team all players were traded or released and kept the coach. The team replaced Blitman after an 18-30 start with Bob Bass. Bass was able to turn the team around and the Floridians finished fourth in the Eastern Division with a record of 37-47. The Floridians made the playoffs, but lost their series to the Kentucky Colonels 4-2.


The Floridians' dreadful attendance for their two home playoff games against the Squires convinced Doyle that the team could not be viable in South Florida. After a deal to relocate to Cincinnati fell through and trying to find a bigger market, he disbanded the franchise in June 1972. Big-time basketball wouldn't return to Florida until the NBA expansion team, the Miami Heat, played their first season in 1988. The Orlando Magic followed a year later.

Team Information Team History

Minneapolis - Miami

Muskies - A musky is a kind of large and rare fresh water fish from North America prominently found in Minnesota. These fish are the largest members of the pike family and usually have three distinct colors.

Miami Beach Convention Center
1968 - 1972
Tampa-St. Petersburg
Curtis Hixon Hall
Bayfront Arena
1970 - 1972
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum
1970 - 1972

Met Center
1967 - 1968

Ned Doyle
1970 - 1972
L.P. Shields & Fred Jefferson
1967 - 1969


Established: 1967

League History:
American Basketball Association
1967 - 1972

Team History:
The Floridians
1970 - 1972
Miami Floridians
1968 - 1970
Minnesota Muskies
1967 - 1968

ABA Championships: 0

Jim Pollard/Harold Blitman
1969 - 1972
Jim Pollard
1967 - 1969

  *Red is this team's history

Add comment

Security code