Longtime NBA commissioner David Stern announced that he will be retiring.

During meetings held today with the NBA’s Board of Governors, Stern announced that he will be retiring effective February 1st, 2014. That date marks the 30th anniversary of him becoming commissioner. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will take over for Stern.

Stern, 70-years old, has had quite an up-and-down tenure. His first year as commissioner saw him oversee arguably one of the best NBA Drafts of all time. But he’s also dealt with quite a bit of controversy during his time in charge, including:

  • 4 separate lockouts (1995, 1996, 1998-99, and 2011)
  • Implementation of a stricter dress code (which hometown hero Allen Iverson was NOT a fan of!)
  •  Allegations of Draft Tampering in 1985
  • A failed attempt at introducing a new microfiber basketball
  • Major involvement in the Sonic’s move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, as well as involvement in denying a 2008 motion to keep the team in Seattle
  • Vetoed a 3-team trade involving Chris Paul being traded to the Lakers. (The Hornets were owned by the league and many people considered his involvement a conflict of interest)

Additionally, Stern also overseen the relocation of 6 separate NBA franchises, as well as the addition of 7 new teams. Stern was also forced to deal with the fallout from the “Malice at The Palace” incident in 2004 where Ron Artest and other players rushed the stands and fought with fans. As a result, security was increased at all arenas and limits were placed on the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Stern also had a role in creating the WNBA and the NBA’s Developmental League. He was also instrumental in building the NBA into a global brand. In accordance with Stern’s global marketing vision, he was instrumental in creating USA Basketball and as a result, the original 1992 Dream Team.

For better or worse, David Stern’s finger prints are all over the NBA product we all watch today. His legacy is undeniable and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver has some rather large shoes to fill.


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