The basketball world was rocked by the news of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern passing away at the age of 77 years old.
Stern served as Commissioner of the league for 30 years, forming relationships with many across the league from players to executives and owners. That included the Buss family, namely the late Dr. Jerry Buss and his daughter Jeanie Buss, the team’s current owner and President.
Dr. Buss was viewed as one of the greatest owners in all of professional sports and his daughter has been a part of the Lakers organization for a number of decades before taking over for her father. Obviously, the pressure on Buss was immense, but one person she could turn to for help and advice was Stern.
In an interview with Mark Medina of USA Today, Buss spoke on Stern and how her father told her that he was someone she could turn to:
“My dad told me that if I ever needed help in the future that David would be somebody I could count on,” Jeanie Buss told USA TODAY Sports. “He always was there for me.”
Buss would continue on, remembering one of the pieces of advice Stern gave her that has stuck with her through the years:
“He always told me I shouldn’t take things so literally and to let things roll off my back,” Buss said of Stern. “Those words really resonated this past offseason for me: ‘Don’t get stuck in the negativity or the distraction of the voices. Keep doing what you’re doing.’ He was always so supportive when I would ask him about that. He always had very clear advice — very succinct and no BS.”
Being in the position that Buss is in can bring along a ton of pressure and expectations that can be difficult to manage and handle. It is important to have people that can be relied upon and provide guidance and advice and for Buss, one of those people was Stern.
Stern did a lot for the league and game of basketball on a global scale. He had an impact that is truly immeasurable, but he was much more than that.
Individually, Stern made connections and helped out many who needed him. He was truly one of the most important people in the history of this game and there is no doubt he will be missed by all.