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David Stern dies: Tributes pour in for the man who changed the NBA

David Stern dies: Tributes pour in for the man who changed the NBA
David Stern died at the age of 77. Pic credit: @ImageCollect.com/Globe-Photos

David Stern, the legendary NBA commissioner who turned the league into the successful phenomenon it is today, died on Wednesday at the age of 77.

In a statement to the media, the NBA announced that Stern died with his wife Dianne and their family by his side.

In December, Stern suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage and required immediate surgery. According to his son Eric, at the time, his father had not regained consciousness and was on a breathing tube.

David Stern’s effects on the NBA

David Stern was involved with the NBA for almost 20 years before he finally took over as the league’s fourth commissioner in 1984.

Stern’s arrival came around the same time a young man named Michael Jodan broke into the NBA. Both men had an immeasurable impact on the basketball league.

David Stern was NBA commissioner for 30 years and under his watch, the NBA went from a second-tier sports league into one that rivals even the NFL. By the time Stern retired, the NBA was a $5 billion a year industry — more than 40 times what it was making before he took over.

David Stern led the NBA into a global phenomenon and worked to make names like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird into superstars everyone int eh world knew by name.

David Stern was in charge when the NBA put together their legendary Dream Team to head into the 1992 Olympics and win gold medals.

Stern saw seven new franchises join the league in his tenure, including two in Canada, and helped player contracts explode along with record earnings for the team owners themselves.

“When I got to the N.B.A. in 1984, which was Commissioner’s first year, the average salary was $250,000,” Charles Barkley said. “It’s almost $9 million now. And he is largely responsible for that.”

Tributes pour in for David Stern

Bill Russell, one of the most respected sports journalists working today, said it best when he said David Stern “changed so many lives” over his time on Earth.

Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he credits David Stern with making him into the commissioner he became, and the one he hopes to become over time.

Tas Melas of The Athletic posted some of the accomplishments that David Stern was responsible for over his career.

NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns credit David Stern for helping him put his family in the position they are today.

The WNBPA put it clearly when they said the WNBA would not exist without David Stern.

Pau Gasol chipped in that the world lost a legend and leader today.

David Stern was 77. He leaves behind his wife Dianne Bock Stern and their two sons, Eric and Andrew.


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