When David Stern took over as commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1984, no one knew which way the league was going and what kind of league it was going to be.
Under his leadership, expansion teams appeared beginning in 1988, a home for basketball came to New Orleans and Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina, two of the most fabulous eras happened, and many events, such as the NBA Draft Lottery premiered.
On New Year’s Day 2020, Stern passed away due to a brain hemorrhage. His is survived by his wife Dianne, and family who were at his bedside.
What has Stern done to skyrocket the NBA? Here’s the short short list.
The NBA World Championship series, on LIVE television
The NBA Draft Lottery
The Dream Team
Presided over the Magic/Bird Era and the Jordan Era
Current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver offered the following thoughts:
“David took over the NBA in 1984 with a 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 partnership, digital assets, ad 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 gratest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”
Not bad for a once upon a time lawyer.
I’ve seen just about all that David Stern brought about. And I will admit, he has had quite the influence on a league that was once upon a time known for fighting.
That’s my quick take. What’s yours?