NEW YORK (WJW) — David Stern, the fourth commissioner of the National Basketball Association, passed away Wednesday afternoon at 77-years-old.
According to the NBA, Stern’s passing is the result of a brain hemorrhage he suffered approximately three weeks ago. His wife, Dianne, and their family were with him at his bedside.
Adam Silver, who currently serves as NBA Commissioner, issued the following statement on Stern’s passing:
“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. 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.
David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.
Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers also released a statement regarding his death. It reads:
“The entire Cavaliers organization, along with Cavs Chairman Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer and the Gilbert family, mourn the passing of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. David was a visionary leader, business innovator and sports pioneer that established and grew the NBA into the global brand and platform for social engagement and impact that it has become today.
In Cleveland, David always worked hard to ensure strong stewardship and investment in the Cavaliers. We remain grateful for his care and support of Cleveland, Cavs fans and the Cavs franchise.
We join the NBA and the world’s entire sports community in grieving his loss, appreciating his life and spirit and reflecting on his many transformative accomplishments. We also honor and respect David’s amazing and impactful legacy that was created by his passion and dedication to the game of basketball and fans alike. His work transcended the game and business of basketball to impact millions of people around the world on a human level as well.
Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, sons, Andrew and Eric and their extended family.”
Stern served as NBA commissioner from 1984 through 2014. He was also was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.