The National Basketball Association announced former Commissioner David Stern died on New Year’s Day almost three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
NBA.com issued a statement saying his wife, Dianne, and family were at his bedside. He was 77.
Current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement:
“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. 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 was instrumental in reforming and growing the popularity of the NBA in the U.S. and internationally to a multibillion-dollar industry during his 30-year term as commissioner. Stern served from 1984 to 2014. He was the NBA’s fourth commissioner.
His marketing efforts and negotiations to increase television revenue were successful partly due to his strategy to focus on the NBA’s biggest named players. His tenure began just as the era of superstar Michael Jordan was born.