When the NBA and ABA merged in 1976, the excluded ABA teams had to be bought out. The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis, Ozzie and Daniel Silna, took less cash (about $2.2 million, compared with the $ 3 million the Kentucky Colonels recived) while receiving 1/7 of future TV revenue for the four ABA teams that joined the NBA (Nets, Spurs, Pacers, and Nuggets) in perpetuity. The NBA has been trying to get out of the deal for 30+ years, which has so far paid the owners $ 300 million.
Now it appears they are close to a deal that will pay the owners $ 500 million to go away. ESPN's 30 for 30 had a fun episode on the Spirits that discussed the deal.