The New York Times reports that the National Basketball Association finally reached an agreement with Ozzie and Daniel Silna, two brothers who owned the Spirits of St. Louis, a former American Basketball Association franchise on which they had negotiated the “greatest sports deal of all time.” With the help of their lawyer Donald Schupak, the Silnas had obtained since 1976 a portion of the NBA`s television rights, which amounts to about $300 million. The NBA wanted to end the Silnas-So agreement for a long time. And it seems that the NBA, with a $500 million fee down payment, is finally fulfilling its wish. After the Squires left, the Kentucky Colonels, led by Artis Gilmore, defeated the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the ABA playoffs in 1976. Meanwhile, the Colonels lost a seven-game semifinal to the Denver Nuggets, led by Dan Issel and David Thompson. The Nuggets lost the ABA final to the New York Nets with Julius Erving, who beat George Gervin and the San Antonio Spurs to make it. The St. Louis Spirits and star Moses Malone survived the regular season but missed the playoffs. The six teams were still standing when the ABA and the NBA, with which Oscar Robertson ruled, began their final merger negotiations. [40] [41] The merger was finally completed on June 17, 1976 at NBA League meetings at the Cape Cod Room at Dunfey`s Hyannis Resort in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

[42] In the first NBA All Star game after the merger, 10 of the 24 NBA All Stars were former ABA players. [75] During merger negotiations in June 1976, the NBA made it clear that it would only accept four ABA teams, not five. The Nuggets and Nets, clearly the two strongest teams in the ABA, were obvious choices. The Spurs had recorded an impressive number of visitors since the Move from Dallas and were therefore a very attractive choice. The Bulls learned that they would oppose the Colonels being part of a merger, the Pacers were the next choice. [47] [48] Brown saw the writing on the wall and decided that it was better to bend the colonels for cash rather than continue to fight. [47] [48] From the outset, the ABA hoped to impose a merger with the NBA, repeating the successful efforts of the American Football League (AFL) to force a merger with the National Football League (NFL). According to The NBA Encyclopedia, ABA officials have informed potential owners that they could have an ABA team for half of what it cost at the time to get an NBA expansion team.

Emerging League officials confidently predicted that in the event of a merger, all surviving owners would double more than their investments.