Ozzie And Dan Silna, The Spirits of St. Louis, And Perhaps The Best Business Deal In The History Of Mankind
From the LA Times:
Roughly once a month, the NBA cuts 31 checks to NBA teams as revenue from its multibillion-dollar national television contract. There are only 30 NBA franchises, so who gets the extra check?
The money goes to brothers Ozzie and Dan Silna, co-owners of the long-forgotten ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis. Thirty years ago, Ozzie Silna, with attorney Donald Schupak, negotiated a deal that cleared the way for the ABA to merge with the NBA. It ranks as one of the best sports deals in modern times, one that has paid the Silnas about $168 million and continues to pay off. ...
Part of the Silnas' deal called for them to receive one-seventh of the annual TV revenue from each of the four ABA teams entering the NBA. The deal turned out to be so lucrative that several NBA teams have tried to break it, without success. "We honor the deal," said Donnie Walsh, the Indiana Pacers' chief executive. "I can't say we haven't met and tried to settle it. But it's the greatest deal known to man. What more can you say?"
The key line in the Silnas' TV contract that makes NBA executives cringe reads: "The right to receive such revenues shall continue for as long as the NBA or its successors continues in its existence."
In other words, the deal lasts as long as the NBA does.
That's Ozzie Silna in the photo above. (via Population Statistic)