NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern passed away Wednesday at the age of 77. His death is the result of a brain hemorrhage suffered nearly three weeks ago. Stern’s wife, Dianne, and their family were with him at his bedside.
“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver 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.
“Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard 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.
“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”
Stern spent 30 years as the NBA’s longest-tenured commissioner before Silver replaced him on Feb. 1, 2014. Stern remained affiliated with the NBA under the Commissioner Emeritus title.
Stern of course is known for being commissioner who overturned the Los Angeles Lakers’ trade for Chris Paul, which drew plenty of criticism, but he also is responsible for the NBA seeing significant growth.
Stern led franchise expansion, helped globalize the NBA, oversaw the creation of the WNBA and developmental league, and an increase in revenues.