Ex-NBA commissioner David Stern, who led the league for 3 decades & turned it into multi-billion dollar enterprise, dies at 77
1 Jan, 2020 21:36 / Updated 6 hours ago
FILE PHOTO: Former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon greets outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern at the end of the first round of selections at the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York June 27, 2013. © REUTERS/Keith Bedford
Stern died on Wednesday afternoon as a result of a brain hemorrhage he suffered in mid-December, which required emergency surgery, the NBA said in a statement. He was the league’s fourth commissioner, founded in 1946.
The longtime NBA head transformed the sports league into a “modern global” industry, helping to bring televised games to over 200 countries in dozens of languages, said current NBA head Adam Silver.
“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,” Silver added.
Even after his 30-year career, which began in 1984, Stern kept active within the NBA and was given the title of “commissioner emeritus.” In 2014, he earned a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.
An outpouring of condolences came in the wake of Stern’s death, with NBA champions and other basketball royalty weighing in to mourn the loss, among them 11-time champ Bill Russell.
“Very sad day for basketball,” said Scottie Pippen, a hall-of-famer who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. “We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room.”