David Stern, NBA’s commissioner for 30 years, dies at 77

Pelicans release statement regarding the passing of Stern

Associated Press
January 01, 2020 - 3:29 pm

USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA's longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global power, has died on New Year’s Day. He was 77.

The league says Stern died Wednesday with his family by his side. He suffered a brain hemorrhage Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery.

Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. By the time he left his position in 2014, a league that had struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world's most popular sport after soccer.

Stern had a hand in nearly every initiative to do that, including drug testing, the salary cap and implementation of a dress code.

The trained lawyer helped the league become televised in more than 200 countries and territories, and in more than 40 languages.

 

The New Orleans Pelicans released the following statement:

The New Orleans Pelicans organization mourns the passing of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern.

Mr. Stern was a catalyst in professional basketball returning to New Orleans in 2002. His commitment to the New Orleans community and the Gulf South region was further shown when he guided the franchise through an ownership transition to Tom Benson in 2012.

A transcendent figure among all sports commissioners, we will always remember Mr. Stern’s leadership and dedication to the NBA, and the lasting impact he leaves on the game of basketball.

We send our deepest condolences to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and the entire Stern family.

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