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Written by Jacob Ortiz, owner of Leading Sports Media.

The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years occurred in 1976. As part of the merger agreement, the NBA agreed to accept four of the remaining six ABA teams: the Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and New York Nets. The remaining two ABA teams, the Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels, folded, with their players entering a dispersal draft. (via Wikipedia)

In 1976, the owners of the former ABA team, the St. Louis Spirits, Ozzie (pictured above) and Daniel Silna, did not want include their team into the ABA-NBA merger.

Instead of settling for a buyout, they made an agreement to get 1/7 of the NBA’s TV money, annually “in perpetuity”.

For the next 38 years, they earned nearly $300 million thanks to this settlement.

In 2014, the NBA and the owners were able settle by paying the Silna family $500 million up front.

This incredible deal is considered one of sports’ “greatest deals of all time”. 


Credit to the New York Times and Reddit user u/earthbendinglemur for the data in the article.