The longest-serving NBA commissioner, David Stern, died Wednesday. He was 77.
Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. He left the position in 2014.
Under Stern, the NBA played nearly 150 international games. It has been televised in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages, and the NBA Finals and All-Star weekend have grown into international events.
Several NBA greats took to social media Wednesday to remember Stern:
Very sad day for basketball. We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room. He was an innovator who helped grow our sport into a global game and his impact will never be forgotten. RIP, Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/FzlJwnJmrK— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 1, 2020
RIP Mr David Stern— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 1, 2020
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
RIP Commissioner Stern 🙏🏿 Thank you for everything you did for the game. Shaking your hand in 2003 will always be one of my most cherished memories. Sending my love and prayers to the Stern family during this time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8cjos50OHP— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) January 1, 2020
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA pic.twitter.com/mbnneqm18s— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 1, 2020
When I was a kid I would watch the NBA drafts all the time. I used to dream about getting drafted, putting on my hat, and shaking his hand, and accomplishing a dream. He helped take the game to new heights.. RIP to the GREAT David Stern.— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 1, 2020
Th NBA and my family would not be in our position if wasn’t for one of the greatest Commissioners in professional sports. RIP David Stern. The game thanks you and will miss you.— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern, it was a honor to shake your hand on draft day https://t.co/3VU1hG5Kfs— Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) January 1, 2020
NBA legend and Hornets owner Michael Jordan’s statement to @TheAthletic @Stadium on death of iconic NBA commissioner David Stern: pic.twitter.com/0MZUiB4pRh— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 1, 2020
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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