David Stern, former NBA Commissioner, Dies at 77

CNBC.com

CNBC.com

Jibril Mustafa, Staff Writer

    On Jan. 1 former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner, David Stern passed away at 77 years old.

   Stern went through emergency brain surgery after suffering from a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12. 

   From 1984 to 2014, Stern worked as the NBA commissioner. He was the commissioner during the league’s most successful years. Due to his work in 30 years, Stern made the league into a multibillion-dollar business. 

   In his time as the commissioner, the world saw the birth of seven new teams and the NBA Development League, known as the G League. Stern also played a helping hand in the creation of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), in 1997.

   With Stern as the commissioner, the NBA became one of the most popular leagues in the world. Stern turned its revenue from ten million dollars a year to 900 million dollars a year. The NBA has played nearly 150 international games and played in 200 different countries and territories. Televised games have been translated into 40 languages.

   One of the most memorable moments in Stern’s time as commissioner was allowing Earvin “Magic” Johnson to play for USA’s Olympic Dream Team in 1992. When Johnson announced his retirement in 1991 and revealed he had the HIV virus, many people were afraid of Johnson. But, Stern made the decision and named Johnson to the team. 

   After he stepped down from the commissioner role in 2014, he was named to the Naismith Hall of Fame. He will be missed and due to his work in the NBA, he has changed the game of basketball forever.