Longtime NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday afternoon a few weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 77.
Stern served exactly 30 years as commissioner before passing the job to Adam Silver in 2014. Stern held the title of commissioner emeritus until his death.
“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration,” Adam Silver said in statement released by the league. “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.”
Several current and former NBA players reacted to the news Wednesday, including Hornets owner and six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan. His full statement via his manager:
“Without David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today. He guided the league through turbulent times and grew the league into an international phenomenon, creating opportunities that few could have imagined before. His vision and leadership provided me with the global stage that allowed me to succeed. David had a deep love for the game of basketball and demanded excellence from those around him — and I admired him for that. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I offer my deepest sympathies to Dianne and his family.”
Some of the league’s greatest players also offered their condolences on social media.
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA
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.
The NBA owes David Stern a debt of gratitude. His courage, innovation intelligence, tenacity & his ability to manage our league that has become a global success. He charted a path for modern-day basketball. We all benefited from his vision and strong beliefs. #ripdavidstern
Damn. RIP Commissioner. https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1212478932492132354 …Adrian Wojnarowski
David Stern — the Hall of Fame ex-NBA Commissioner — has died at 77 years old. He oversaw tremendous growth in his 30 years as commissioner, retiring in 2014. Stern had been hospitalized since a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 17.
Rest In Peace David Stern https://twitter.com/espn/status/1212482112135278597 …ESPN
David Stern, the NBA commissioner who oversaw the sport’s biggest stage for three decades, has died.
He was 77.
RIP David Stern, it was a honor to shake your hand on draft day https://twitter.com/NBA/status/1212482253105876995 …NBA
✔@NBAReplying to @NBA