By: David M. Higgins II
David Stern, the former NBA commissioner who reshaped the league and presided over its skyrocketing growth for three decades, has died, the league said Wednesday. He was 77.
The NBA announced the news of his death in a statement stating Stern “passed away this afternoon as a result of the brain hemorrhage he suffered approximately three weeks ago. His wife, Dianne, and their family were with him at his bedside.”On December 12, the NBA said Stern had suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage that required emergency surgery.
After assuming the role of the commissioner in 1984, Stern’s run saw the league explode in terms of TV revenue, global marketing, popularity and more. Under Stern, the league saw growth in various markets across the country, new teams in Toronto, Orlando, Miami, Vancouver/Memphis as well as the ushering in of the “greatest” era of basketball from Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, to Michael Jordan and the dominance of the Chicago Bulls.
Stern’s time as commissioner was controversial as it was bountiful for the league. There were four lockouts between owners and players, most famously the lockouts of 1999 and 2011. There was the dress code policy, instituted not long after the popularity of Allen Iverson and the brawl between Detroit and Indiana forever known as “Malice In The Palace.”