Off court the team was just as lively, especially with the irrepressible Marvin Barnes, whose career in the NBA was eventually cut short due to drugs. Halfway through his rookie season Barnes famously left the team unannounced, only to be found days later playing in a billiards tournament in Ohio. Back home in St. Louis, Barnes earned notoriety for his floor-length fur coats and his glittering Rolls Royce.
"He had such an incredible charm and personality," continues the broadcaster. "There's no doubt in my mind that had he not screwed himself up, he would have been one of the best 50 players ever in the NBA."
Costas says he's still in occasional contact with the Silna brothers and former Spirits players. "There's no doubt that it had a major impact on my career," he says. "I was 22 years old at the time and it wasn't until years down the road that I realized nothing in my career remotely compared to how crazy it was."