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SBD/Issue 181/Sports Industrialists
Former Nets, Islanders Owner Roy Boe Passes Away At 79
Published June 9, 2009
Former Nets and Islanders Owner ROY BOE, whose ownership of the two franchises "put Long Island on the map of big-time professional sports," died Sunday at the age of 79, according to John Jeansonne of NEWSDAY. Boe's 1969 purchase of the ABA N.Y. Nets "perfectly positioned him to land" an NHL expansion club in '72, but his sale of Basketball HOFer Julius Erving "overshadowed his influence on the NBA-ABA merger and led to his loss of both teams." Erving's "star power and Boe's connections were primary elements in forcing an NBA-ABA merger" for the '76-77 season, but Boe's "expensive acquisition of flashy guard TINY ARCHIBALD and the need to pay millions in NBA entry and indemnity fees led to his trading Erving" to the 76ers for $3M in '76. Two years later, Boe sold the Islanders "just as the hockey team was on the verge of its championship run." Boe's death was not related to his "successful battle against cancer of the esophagus in the late 1990s" (NEWSDAY, 6/9). In N.Y., Fred Kerber notes after paying a $3.2M entry fee to move the Nets into the NBA, Boe also was charged $4.8M "owed [to] the Knicks for moving into their territory," which led to the Erving sale. Nets President ROD THORN said of the Erving deal, "It is a shame. But Roy had to do it to get into the NBA. It wasn't a trade. We got money and no players." Boe had "similar payments to the NHL and Rangers as Islanders owner" (N.Y. POST, 6/9). Boe moved the Nets to New Jersey in '77, and sold the team in '78 (N.Y. TIMES, 6/9). The AHL in '00 awarded Boe the expansion Bridgeport Sound Tigers, which began play in '01-02. Boe sold the club in '04 (CONNECTICUT POST, 6/9).