One of the most important figures in NBA history in former commissioner David Stern passing away on Wednesday.
Stern, 77, passed away due to a brain hemorrhage he suffered back in December. He served as the commissioner of the association for 30 years and was just as integral a part of the NBA’s success as players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird.
He was also part of the reason why basketball returned to the city of New Orleans.
“Mr. Stern was a catalyst in professional basketball returning to New Orleans in 2002.” The Pelicans said in a statement released shortly after his passing, “His commitment to the New Orleans community and the Gulf South region was further shown when he guided the franchise through an ownership transition to Tom Benson in 2012.
“A transcendent figure among all sports commissioners, we will always remember Mr. Stern’s leadership and dedication to the NBA, and the lasting impact he leaves on the game of basketball.”
Among his greatest accomplishments as commissioner was the grooming of his eventual successor, Adam Silver, who is among the most popular executives in the history of sports.
Silver released a statement about Stern saying that “he was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas, and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him, it was always about the fundamentals — preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.”