Ozzie Silna, who turned a fading American Basketball Association franchise into a four-decade windfall of nearly $800 million from the NBA in what’s commonly called the greatest deal in sports history, has died at age 83.
Silna’s younger brother and Spirits of St. Louis co-owner Daniel Silna told The Associated Press that his brother’s funeral was held Thursday. Ozzie Silna died Tuesday at a Los Angeles hospital after a brief illness and his funeral was held Thursday.
As part of a concept he and attorney Donald Schupak dreamed up months earlier, Ozzie Silna negotiated to receive four-sevenths of a share of the NBA’s annual TV revenue for as long as the NBA was around.
Born Uziel Silna in Israel in 1932, he moved to New Jersey when he was 7.
“Some people say it’s the best deal ever done,” Silna said. “I just looked at it as a way of being fair.”