The basketball world was hit with a tremendous loss of former NBA Commissioner. He was heavily involved in the legacy of the New York Knicks
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passes away on New Year’s Day after spending weeks in a New York City hospital after a sudden brain hemorrhage. The 77-year old was influential in the growth of NBA basketball around the world and was a prominent figure for all teams, especially the New York Knicks.
During his 30-year tenure as commissioner from 1984 to 2014, Stern took the NBA from a 23-team organization struggling to make a profit with off the court issues to a 30-team operation whose revenue increased exponentially. The game also expanded globally with the 1992 Olympics featuring NBA players known as the Dream Team. The NBA Development League later renamed the NBA G League and WNBA all we’re created under Stern’s regime.
One of Stern’s most significant innovations was the NBA Draft Lottery allowing teams that don’t possess the worst record to get the number one pick via ping pong balls possibly. The first lottery in 1985 was surprising won by the Knicks because of the new rules allowing them to select franchise savior Patrick Ewing with the first overall pick. Ewing would go on to hold more than half of the franchise’s records in 15 seasons as the Knicks were contenders throughout the 1990s decade under Stern’s watch.
The current NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, expressed his feelings in the official league statement press release.
“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.”
Stern will be known by many as the greatest commissioner in sports history for his ways of saving a struggling league. The NBA is now one of the most profitable organizations around the world, with continued growth in personality for years to come.