Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has passed away aged 77, due to a brain hemorrhage he suffered approximately three weeks ago.
pic.twitter.com/P73kCpn0GC- NBA (@NBA) January 1, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued 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. 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."
David Stern, the NBA commissioner who oversaw the sport's biggest stage for three decades, has died.- ESPN (@espn) January 1, 2020
He was 77. pic.twitter.com/Zc9IngkTPI
Stern served as Commissioner for 30 years, overseeing the league during it's most successful period, which saw it go from a league struggling to make a profit, to increasing revenue by 30 times to a reported $5 billion.
Stern was a driving force in leading the NBA into a global market through marketing and television broadcasts in more than 200 countries and regions in 49 languages.
During his tenure, Stern implemented significant changes and helped grow the league with the addition of seven new teams, six relocations, as well as the creation of the WNBA, which had its inaugural season in 1997.
For his contribution to the game Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dianne, and their two sons, Eric and Andrew.
A host of NBA players, past and present took to Twitter to offer their condolcences:
The game changed in so many ways under David Stern's leadership and vision. He demanded the best of everyone because he gave it himself. #Respect Thank you Commissioner. RIP 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/veT9GQfrdC- Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 1, 2020
The NBA owes David Stern a debt of gratitude. His courage, innovation intelligence, tenacity & his ability to manage our league that has become a global success. He charted a path for modern-day basketball. We all benefited from his vision and strong beliefs. #ripdavidstern- Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) January 1, 2020
The league wouldn't be what it is today without you. The entire NBA family and fans around the world will miss you. 💔 #2009Draftday- James Harden (@JHarden13) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/tnSYMsTnjp
Sad news. We lost a legend! RIP David Stern- Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/pCgPHiQ2eH- Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) January 1, 2020
Thank you for everything you did pic.twitter.com/pvRwvI5CBp- Marco Belinelli (@marcobelinelli) January 1, 2020
RIP Commissioner Stern 🙏🏿 Thank you for everything you did for the game. Shaking your hand in 2003 will always be one of my most cherished memories. Sending my love and prayers to the Stern family during this time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8cjos50OHP- Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) January 1, 2020
When I was a kid I would watch the NBA drafts all the time. I used to dream about getting drafted, putting on my hat, and shaking his hand, and accomplishing a dream. He helped take the game to new heights.. RIP to the GREAT David Stern.- 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 1, 2020
🙏🏼 ❤️ https://t.co/gh9qGQJqsU- Goran Dragić (@Goran_Dragic) January 1, 2020
RIP Commissioner Stern, very sad to hear the news. You did great things for the game of basketball. Someone I always admired. #NBAFamily- Al Horford (@Al_Horford) January 1, 2020
Prayers up for David Stern and his family!- Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) January 1, 2020
Rest In Peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/iCM8e5iL9n