In 1976 four ABA teams joined the NBA.
January 24, 2002 12:28 PM   Subscribe

In 1976 four ABA teams joined the NBA. This left 2 teams to be compensated. One team accepted a $3 million buyout. The other team, as per an agreement made 6 months earlier and thought up by the owner of the team, got 1/7 of the other 4 teams television money forever. Has there ever been a better business deal/gamble?
posted by betaray (15 comments total)
Thanks, betaray, very interesting, First I'd ever heard of it. Worthy of Charlie O. Finley.

The only business deal I can think of that could rival it is the guy who invented the crescent wrench, which Sears tried to buy, but he wanted a share of the sales, which as you can guess made him a pretty penny.

Of course there was Jeff Smulyan, who bought the Mariner's with borrowed funds (junk bonds) then sold the team years later for a profit, having gambled none of his own dough.
posted by vito90 at 1:03 PM on January 24, 2002

Also of course the story of George Dubya making out pretty good on the Texas Rangers...
posted by vito90 at 1:05 PM on January 24, 2002

totally fascinating story. i agree, thanks for sharing that.
posted by tsarfan at 1:46 PM on January 24, 2002

posted by panopticon at 1:51 PM on January 24, 2002

thank you very much!
posted by thekorruptor at 2:07 PM on January 24, 2002

Didn't Jack Nicholson get a cut from all the Batman sequels?
posted by ColdChef at 2:35 PM on January 24, 2002

Betaray, that was a cool story. Shrewd move by that owner!

I looked for a link to relate a story I had heard about Ray Kroc & McDonald's, but maybe what I heard is a myth, because I couldn't find anything to support it. Here's what I had heard: each and every McDonald's restaurant pays $1 per day to the Kroc family and heirs in perpetuity. Now, with 29,000 restaurants, that's $10,585,000 annually for that deal alone, not to mention any ownership/stock the family owns and other parts of the McDonald's business plan (owning the land for each restaurant and leasing it back to the franchisee, etc.).
posted by msacheson at 2:46 PM on January 24, 2002

panopticon...thanks for the enron link. I visited their site and checked out "Who We Are". Listen to this:

It's difficult, too, to talk about Enron without using the word "innovative." Most of the things we do have never been done before.

Sorry that's unrelated to this thread, but it wa too funny (to me) to pass up.
posted by msacheson at 3:07 PM on January 24, 2002

This is a wonderful story, one of my favorite posts ever.
posted by djacobs at 4:00 PM on January 24, 2002

This has been one of my favorite stories ever since I first read about it in Terry Pluto's wonderful oral history of the ABA, Loose Balls.
posted by gspira at 7:15 PM on January 24, 2002

I want those guys to write my next employment contract.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:13 PM on January 24, 2002

That was a very cool link. Thanks!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:19 PM on January 24, 2002

There is a guy who was supposed to direct ET. Turns out Stephen wanted to direct it. He signed off for 1 point. %1 of ET profits goes to him. When asked what he did for ET? He says "I didn't direct it."

He is also in it, the surgeon in the end.

Also Harrison Ford has a line in it, but is never seen.

Usless ET trivia :)
posted by andryeevna at 2:23 AM on January 25, 2002

One more on the ABA tip: HBO's Long Shots: The Life and Times of the American Basketball Association. Good fun, GREAT 'fros.
posted by whuppy at 6:55 AM on January 25, 2002

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