Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Dies from Brain Hemorrhage
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern died Wednesday at the age of 77 after suffering a brain hemorrhage on December 12.
The NBA issued a statement about Stern’s death:
NBA announces that David Stern has passed. pic.twitter.com/7v5x0rEpJ9
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) January 1, 2020
According to ESPN, Stern was transported from a New York City restaurant to Mount Sinai West medical center to undergo emergency surgery after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Stern succeeded Larry O’Brien as the NBA’s commissioner in 1984 after serving as the NBA’s General Counsel and then executive vice president of the NBA. He would remain in his role as commissioner until his retirement in 2014.
During his 30-year tenure, Stern oversaw several significant changes and events in the NBA, including the addition of seven new franchises and six relocations.
NBA’s television revenue increased by 40 times under Stern and the average player salary ballooned from $250,000 per year to $5 million per year as well.
While he was executive vice president of the NBA, Stern also helped institute player drug testing and the salary cap.
One of Stern’s greatest accomplishments was the formation of the WNBA in 1997. The WNBA has been the premier basketball league for women’s players ever since, and it owns television deals with ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and CBS Sports Network.
On account of his contributions during nearly 50 years of association with the NBA, Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Upon the news of his death being reported, NBA stars such as Bill Russell, Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wayne, Scottie Pippen and James Harden shared their condolences on social media.
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA pic.twitter.com/mbnneqm18s
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 1, 2020
RIP Mr David Stern
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 1, 2020
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 league wouldn’t be what it is today without you. The entire NBA family and fans around the world will miss you. 💔 #2009Draftday
RIP David Stern🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/tnSYMsTnjp
— James Harden (@JHarden13) January 1, 2020
David Stern's Legal Background Proved to be Vital During His Tenure as Commissioner – Sports Illustrated https://t.co/8jOxOPWMog
— Dwayne Wade (@DwayneWade24x7) January 2, 2020
Stern, who was born on Sept. 22, 1942, in New York City, attended Rutgers University and then graduated from Columbia Law School in 1966. Prior to joining the NBA, Stern enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dianne, and their two sons, Eric and Andrew.