Ozzie Silna, a Famed ABA Owner Dies at 83

spirits of st louis aba logoIf you are one of the several people caught up in your own world of online NBA sportsbook odds, you might have missed the news coming out of the game regarding the death of Ozzie Silna.

As co-owner of the Spirits of St. Louis, a struggling American Basketball Asociation team, the multimillionaire and his brother, Dan, agreed to dissolve the team at a time when the ABA was merging with the NBA (this was after the 1975-1976 season).

They agreed to the deal in exchange for a percentage of the broadcast revenue the NBA would earn in the future.

Silna was 83 years old when he died. According to his family, he died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, losing his fight with cancer.

When Silna and Dan chose to concede to the demands of the NBA, the negotiations attracted little in the way of interest and attention. Over the years, however, the brothers’ decision proved to be a legendary coup, earning Silna the fortune he has amassed over the years.

According to the deal, the league agreed to give Silna and Dan one-seventh of the annual television revenues for so long as the NBA was around for four of the six remaining ABA teams (New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers) that were absorbed.

The Spirits and the Kentucky Colonels had, as of this moment, refused to accept the league, though John Y. Brown, the owner of the Colonels, eventually received $3 million from the remaining ABA teams.

Silna and Dan were far more difficult negotiators.

The Times believes that, in the years since Silna and Dan’s momentous concession, the brothers have collected an estimated $750 million, a sum they have grown through their various investments.

This includes the multimillion dollar sum the brothers were paid in 2014 in a deal negotiated with the NBA and the four teams to settle a conflict that had arisen between the brothers and the league.

Following this rather lucrative agreement, which was followed soon after by a $24 billion TV deal announcement, Silna dropped the lawsuit he had filed against the NBA and the four teams with the purpose of collecting on new revenue streams (opportunities like the NBA League Pass and foreign TV deals had not been envisioned in the original agreement between the brothers and the League).

Releasing a statement later on Tuesday, Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner expressed his sadness over the passing of Ozzie Silna. Silver made mention of the legacy Dan and Silna had curved out of basketball’s history, the love Silna held for the game and the determination he displayed later on in his life to remain part and parcel of the game of basketball.

Silver offered his condolences to Dan and the rest of Silna’s family.

Questioned about the business choices he has made during his long life, Silna had often downplayed the fortune the deal he made back in the 70s earned him, admitting on more than one occasion that he had always had an inkling of the true value future NBA TV deals held.

Blessed with the ability to see the potential for growth that the League held, Silna believed he could have made a better deal.

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