NBA

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Dies At 77

Jan 1, 2020, 2:43 PM | Updated: Jan 2, 2020, 9:31 am
Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media prior to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz Game...
Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media prior to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2010 at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global power, has died on New Year’s Day. He was 77.

The league says Stern died Wednesday with his family by his side. He suffered a brain hemorrhage Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery.

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 had struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.

Stern had a hand in nearly every initiative to do that, including drug testing, the salary cap and implementation of a dress code.

The trained lawyer helped the league become televised in more than 200 countries and territories, and in more than 40 languages.

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