Fred Zollner, former Pistons owner, explains the NBA’s financial losses


Via Gerald Astor of Sports Illustrated. In 1955.

Sportsman Fred Zollner views the situation this way. “I’m a teetotaler by choice. For me basketball also takes the place of golf or bridge. If we lose money I regard it as a normal deficit for value received—spreading an odd name like Zollner around.”

What Zollner, the Pistons’ former owner who died in 1982, said then is just as true today. Some owners lose money, in the most simplistic level of scrutiny, on their basketball teams, but they gain fortune in related realms because they own a team. If they’d admit and account for that, the lock out would be over. Instead, they want the players to sacrifice enough salary that their teams become profitable – on top of their ancillary gains.