Sports = $$$: Best and Worst Deals Ever

joeyToday’s Query: What would possibly make a man of my advanced age, with no hops, bad hips (regularly scheduled physical therapy), a shooting touch that has made coaches wince, teammates cringe and foes ebullient through the years, what could make that guy daydream about pulling his long unused b-ball off the shelf in storage, pumping it up, putting on my Wes Unseld Cardinal throwback, overworn low cut black chucks and going out to take a few jumpers? Just to see if he still has his stuff, don’t you know?

Well, for one, a guy named Lavoy Allen — Heard of him? Know who he plays for? Didn’t think so. — is going to make $3.5 mill next season. Joe Ingles — haven’t a clue — will take home $2.1 with five more zeros attached. Matthew Dellavedova will deposit in his account just short of $10 mill next season, which works out to at least a couple of hundred thou for each dirty play.

I trust you get my point. There are lots of professional basketball players, who are making obscene amounts of money, simply to sit on the bench and ogle the babes in the Jack Nicholson seats.

And this: The latest reported figures indicate big time college sports is breaking the bank. SEC schools each take home $30+++ million from the league. ACC schools have passed the $25+ million mark, with more on the way with the new TV contract.

It all seems so obscene. And, perhaps, is. But as long as guys want to gather at BW3, eat faux “wings,” quaff some Buds and watch games, the trend shall not abate.

It’s Money Ball über alles.

Which got me to thinking. A scary proposition, but one I engage in every once in awhile, whether I need to or not. Given what’s happened with money aspects of big time sports, what have been the best and worst financial deals ever in the history of sports?

Worst first.

Tulane was a charter member of the SEC. Along with a couple of other schools which left the league, but really can’t be faulted.1

But the Green Wave, the first SEC school to integrate a sports program, when a Negro student played on the baseball team its last season in the conference, is a whole different story.

Not a pleasant one for the folks uptown in New Orleans on St. Charles Ave..

The Crescent City school split the league in ’66, in order to broaden the football schedule, play more inter-sectional games. The school’s prexy proclaimed, “We have no intention of de-emphasizing football, basketball or any other sport.”

Hmmm. How’s that working out?

The Best.

You ever heard of the Silna brothers, Ozzie and Daniel?

They owned the Spirits of St. Louis in the long defunct American Basketball Association.

The league fell apart when the NBA appropriated the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers and Spurs. Leaving St. Louie, the Kentucky Colonels and the institutionally hapless Virginia Squires on the ouside lookin’ in. With their hands out for reparations.

John Y. Brown, then owner of the Colonels, took $3 million and went and bought him his own NBA team.

The Silnas, pissed they weren’t included in the expanded NBA, proceeded to cut the best money deal in the history of sports. They took $2.2 million up front. Plus 1/7 of the yearly TV revenue from each of the four who jumped ship, to be paid in perpetuity.{ref]Which is legal lingo, meaning forever and ever.[/ref]

Not a big money maker early on, but as the NBA got more popular and the TV contracts got bigger, the Silnas collected $300 million through the decades. For doing, uh, nothing. No team to field. No seats to sell. No coaches to hire and fire. Just hang out in ol’ St. Lou and wait for the annual checks to arrive.

Which would have gone, as previously advised, until forever. But the Silnas and the league worked out an endgame a bit ago, whereby the savvy bros. received a lump sum of $500 million. And some pocket change still to flow on a yearly basis.

That, mes freres, is some kind of vision, some kind of negotiating.

— Seedy K

5 thoughts on “Sports = $$$: Best and Worst Deals Ever

  1. Uncle Ozzie passed away this April. Unless JGJ, whose relationship to Mr. Silna is tenuous I’m so very sure, has heard from the attorney for the estate, he would be SOL.

  2. There is still time for me to make my claim.

    If I am not included in Oz’ estate, I am sure it is only because of the intentional interference with my reasonable expectation to inherit that has been unduly thwarted by the vagabonds that have absconded with Ozzie’s free will and his clear intention to bestow much of his largess upon me. I am sure there is a probative violation of an adopted Restatement of Torts out there somewhere that can be used to my advantage.

    Any lawyers out there willing to take up my cause? Sportsbee, the ball is in your court!

  3. It would be my honor and a pleasure to represent JG Joyner. If he wants to assert claim to his dear Uncle’s estate, we can whip up that Verified Complaint. And if he does, just think he owes it all to you, Seedy K, He had forgotten all about Uncle Oz until you reminded him by penning this article. You are the man!

  4. Oz will never be forgotten. Humble ol’ me just didn’t want to appear greedy by hanging around the grave vault like all those other vultures seeking to expropriate my expected and richly deserved devise. By hell, if Anna Nicole could do it, so can I!

    I am more than pleased that the Hon. Sportsbee thinks enough of my case to represent me in my just claim. I figured he would jump on this, because I am sure he remembers Marvin Barnes’ refusal to return to St.Louis from the Ville on a time machine that would land in St. Louis 5 minutes before it left the airport here. If Ozzie had brilliance like that on his teams, I am sure it can be sold that I am a vested bennie of his estate.

    Now, for the signature on that verified complaint…. maybe that can be discussed further after the initial complaint is filed! Let me know S’bee! I always like my counsel to have some skin in the game, too!

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