Former NBA commissioner David Stern has passed away at the age of 77 after suffering a brain hemorrhage about three weeks ago, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. Stern served as NBA commissioner for 30 years, retiring from the position in February 2014.
Current commissioner Adam Silver released a statement following the news of Stern’s passing:
“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.”
The Portland Trail Blazers issued the following statement:
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 1, 2020) – Today, the NBA lost a true trailblazer in Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. The league flourished under his leadership and vision. The growth and success of the league today is a reflection of his passion, innovation and commitment. On behalf of the Trail Blazers organization, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Diane, sons Andrew and Eric, and the entire Stern family.
We send our thoughts to the Stern family.