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Ex-NBA executive Gordon 'Scotty' Stirling dies at 86

POSTED: Nov 11, 2015 5:35 PM ET

Official release


— The NBA is saddened to announce the passing of Gordon "Scotty" Stirling, a former NBA vice president of operations and a longtime NBA team executive and scout. Stirling died today in Sacramento, Calif., at age 86.

"Scotty was a highly regarded league executive who dedicated more than 35 years of his life to our game," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "He exuded passion for basketball and worked tirelessly in front-office roles with the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, and the ABA's Oakland Oaks. Scotty also set a high standard as the NBA's vice president of operations. With his vast knowledge and keen eye for talent, he earned the respect of his peers and colleagues. We extend our deepest sympathies to Scotty's wife, Pam, and the Stirling family."

Stirling spent 27 years with the Kings from 1987-2013, including 24 seasons as scouting director. During his tenure, Sacramento drafted three-time NBA All-Star Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu, the NBA's first Turkish-born player, and 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans.

Before joining the Kings, Stirling was the Knicks' general manager from 1986-87. He accepted the position with New York after serving as the NBA's vice president of basketball operations for three seasons and as the assistant to the Warriors' president from 1976-82. Stirling was also general manager of the 1968-69 ABA champion Oaks.

Stirling transitioned to the NBA after a stint as general manager of professional football's Oakland Raiders, a team he had covered for the Oakland Tribune, and with whom he won the 1967 AFL title. His career in media also included a pioneering tenure as a sports-talk radio host in the Bay Area, and he is widely credited with helping to develop the concept of fantasy football.

A U.S. Army veteran, Stirling earned a B.S. from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in Sports Management from Adelphi University. In 2012, he was inducted into the El Cerrito High School Hall of Fame for his contributions to Bay Area sports.

Stirling is survived by his wife, Pam; three sons, Gordon, Donald, a member of the Utah Jazz organization, and Kevin; a sister, Helen Boak, and a brother, Archie Stirling; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, John T. Stirling.

Private family services are to be held. A memorial will be scheduled.