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.
For the 1971 – 1972 season, the Floridians split their home games between Miami and Tampa. They again finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division, with a record of 36-48. Once again the team made the playoffs, and once again they lost their series, this time to the Virginia Squires 4-0.
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.
The Miami Floridians, later in their history known simply as The Floridians, were a professional basketball franchise in the original, now-defunct American Basketball Association.
Minneapolis – Miami
1967 – 1972 / American Basketball Association
1970 – 1972 / The Floridians
1968 – 1970 / Miami Floridians
1967 – 1968 / Minnesota Muskies
Floridians – The final Florida ABA team’s nickname means the state of Florida and the people of Florida, called “Floridians.”
ABA Championships 0
1968 – 1972 / Miami Beach Convention Center
1970 – 1972/ Bayfront Arena
1970 – 1972 / Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum
1967 – 1968 / Met Center
1970 – 1972 / Ned Doyle
1967 – 1969 / L.P. Shields & Fred Jefferson
1969 – 1972 / Jim Pollard/Harold Blitman
1967 – 1969 / Jim Pollard
*Blue is this team’s history