David Stern, the former commissioner of NBA, has passed away suffering a brain hemorrhage in December and underwent emergency surgery. He was 77.
In a statementreleased by NBA, they said,
“He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas, and on planes wherever the game would take us. “
They continued, “Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him, it was always the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.”
“Because of David, the NBA is truly a global brand – making this not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”
Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Stern had known each other for 22 years. On February 1, 2014, Silver succeeded Stern.
Former basketball players like Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Scottie Pipen have also reactedto his death.
Stern headed the league for 30 years, from 1984 to 2014.
It made him NBA’s longest-serving commissioner.
David Stern grown NBA to a more than $5 billion a year industry.
He is widely known for making the NBA into the organization it is today as one of the most powerful sports leagues in the world.
NBA teams exploded in value and popularity during his leadership.
Stern was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Before the induction, he was quick to share the credit to all those he worked with to help globalize the NBA in the past years instead of crediting just himself.
Speaking to the Associated Press that same year, he said, “You can’t even do justice to everything that everybody has done.”
Stern added, “All you can do is focus on small chunks of it, but it’s great fun to contemplate how the NBA family has pulled together to be at a place where our players are now at the top of the celebrity period.”
Stern grabbed for meaning, television airtime, and a seat at the table next to pro football and baseball.