David Stern: 1942-2020
David Stern: 1942-2020

Recalling three decades as NBA Commissioner

Under David Stern’s watch the NBA became a global sports power

From NBA.com Staff

Jan 2, 2020 12:57 PM ET


As commissioner, David Stern directed a vast period of growth and success in the NBA.

NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner and one of the best in sports history, died Jan. 1, 2020 at 77 years old. Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery.  Per the NBA, Stern died with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.

Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. By the time he left his position in 2014, a league that fought for a foothold before him had grown to a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.

Here's a look back at what made him a legendary sports commissioner, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and icon in NBA lore.

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Charles Barkley reflects on his relationship throughout the years with David Stern.


Reactions to Stern's passing

NBA players and others look back on David Stern's remarkable tenure.


David Stern's career

David Stern took the NBA to unmatched heights and became a Hall of Famer in 2014.


NBA teams on Stern's passing

The Heat honored David Stern with a tribute before their game on Jan. 2.


Team statements on Stern's passing



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