NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern died Wednesday at the age of 77. He passed away 15 days after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He collapsed in a New York City restaurant on December 12th, and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
He remained in critical condition surrounded by family and friends until the first day of the New Year when he died.
He left a lasting legacy. Commissioner of the NBA for 30 years, he transformed the league into what it is today. He became commissioner in 1984 when the NBA had only 23 teams and struggled at the national level.
He turned it into a highly successful and lucrative international venture, now comprised of 30 teams. The Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Toronto Raptors, all came through expansion and team movement under his watch.
Stern also oversaw the addition of the draft lottery in his second season as commissioner.
Stern stepped down in 2014, naming Adam Silver as his successor. He was then inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife Diane and sons Eric and Andrew.