Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has passed away at the age of 77, per ESPN. His death is reportedly the results of complications following a brain hemorrhage he suffered a few weeks ago. His successor and current commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:
“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 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 was the NBA commissioner from 1984 to 2014 and oversaw the most successful era of the NBA as it grew both in the US and expanded to a global reach. He also oversaw the formation of the WNBA.
Although the Spurs and Stern weren’t immune to conflicts with each other — Stern once openly admitted he disliked the Spurs’ success in the 2000’s due to their market size and lack of ratings, as well as the Restgate controversy — he was still one of the most respected people in sports and made the NBA what it is today.
Condolences to the Stern family, especially his wife, Dianne, and children, Eric and Andrew.