Friday Flashback:  United States Basketball League

Summertime is usually the season for baseball and soccer but in the late 1980s a new basketball league was formed as a developmental-type league.  Although the United States Basketball League (USBL) wasn’t officially aligned with the National Basketball Association (NBA), they did produce some talent that eventually became NBA stars.

Tyrone Curtis “Muggsy” Bogues, Manute Bol, Mario Elie, World B. Free, Avery Johnson, Anthony Mason and Michael “Sugar” Ray Richardson all played in the USBL.  

The USBL began play in 1985 as one of the first leagues to play in the summer during the NBA’s offseason.   Atlantic City, Dodge City and Miami won the most titles with three each during the 23 seasons the league was in existence.   In the last two seasons, the league was more of a regional-type league with teams in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Some of the more interesting teams were the Nebraska Cranes, New Jersey Shore Cats, Palm Beach Stingrays and Springfield Fame (home of the Basketball Hall of Fame)

The Kansas Cagerz was the most successful team on the court with a record of 164-127.  

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