Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passes away at the age of 77. His death comes just a few weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 17. Stern was the commissioner of the league for 30 years, holding the position from 1984 through 2014, and was succeeded by current commissioner Adam Silver. When he first entered the league, basketball was not what it is today. Over his tenure, the popularity of the sport grew exponentially. His impact was felt by many, and even those who entered the league after his time as commissioner were benefiting from changes he helped put into place in the sport.
“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals — preparation, attention to detail, and demanding work.
“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand — making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.
David Stern passing away is an incredible loss to the sporting community. When David Stern comes to mind, you think about him becoming commissioner when Michael Jordan arrived in the league. Michael Jordan and David Stern took the league and elevated it to unbelievable popularity. With Stern’s leadership and vision, the NBA became the most popular sport in the world. Stern’s vision is what propelled a lot of great European stars into the NBA to become household names. We all here like to send our condolences to David Stern and his family.