NEW YORK — Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has passed away, the league announced on Wednesday. He was 77.
Stern served as the commissioner of the league from 1984 until 2014.
On Dec. 12, 2019, Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage and underwent surgery.
The league said Stern passed away on New Year’s Day with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released 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.”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 1, 2020
Very sad day for basketball. We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room. He was an innovator who helped grow our sport into a global game and his impact will never be forgotten. RIP, Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/FzlJwnJmrK
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 1, 2020