The reign of NBA Commissioner David Stern will come to an end on February 1st, 2014 after 30 years, it has been confirmed.
Stern, 70, will hand over the role to the present deputy Adam Silver.
It certainly hasn’t been easy for Stern as he now heads for retirement and some might wonder how much effort he will put in to his current role from now, knowing that in under two years, it will come to an end.
Whatever you may think of Stern, who has been accused of rigging the 1985 NBA Draft, vetoed a Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade because of “basketball reasons”, been through four lockouts and even introduced a new “microfibre” basketball which lasted all of around three months, he has changed the way we think about basketball forever.
Stern has made basketball the global power it is today – it’s the reason we can watch the NBA, Euroleague and international games on the television – and now on the internet. Stern, along with FIBA created the idea of having the Dream Team compete at the Olympics and the fallout from Barcelona 1992 made basketball the national power it is now.
The overall revenue has soared with Stern at the helm with the expansion from 23 teams to 30 and he has also developed the women’s game with his help in giving birth to the WNBA, which brings in just as many fans than a regular season NBA fixture.
Despite all his hard work in making basketball what it is, Stern admits that his greatest accomplishment of all is grooming Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver to become one of basketball’s most powerful names.
Silver, 50, has been a Commissioner in training for nearly six years and has worked for the NBA for around 20 years. Stern gave him the lead role in negotiating the challenging collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union that was settled 11 months ago after the lockout cancelled 16 games of the 2011/12 NBA season.
While the shoes will be hard to fill, Silver looks forward to making the NBA grow even more and said that he was “honoured” and “thrilled” to be named as Stern’s successor.
NBA legend and ESPN analyst Magic Johnson took to Twitter by calling Stern “the greatest commissioner in all of sports”.
The vast majority of the basketball world will agree to that.