Last week, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary series premiered Free Spirits, an hour-long documentary that details the short two-year history of the ABA franchise, the Spirits of St. Louis. The documentary detailed a number of colorful characters that played with the Spirits throughout their two-year history, including Marvin “Bad News” Barnes and playground legend James “Fly” Williams. Barnes served as the main character of the documentary as he recounted many stories from his playing days with the Spirits.
One of the interesting stories included Barnes chartering a private plane for a trip from New York to Norfolk for a game versus the Squires . . .
Also, the attached video details some interesting facts on the 1976 merger between the ABA and the NBA, including details of the settlement deal that the Spirits’ owners negotiated with the four ABA teams that joined the NBA. The deal has been called “The Best Deal in Sports” by many.