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Nets Pay Hidden Tax to Former 'Spirit of St. Louis' Owners

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Thirty years ago, the four ABA teams who were joining the NBA had to pay off the owners they were leaving behind. Rather than accept a one-time buyout, the three men who owned the Spirit of St. Louis made a deal with the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers, and Spurs. Every year, the four would have to pay them a percentage of the NBA's TV rights. Back then, it amounted to only $300,000, but as TV rights became more lucrative, it's become a huge windfall...and a hidden tax on the Nets.