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OBIT: David Stern

Source:China Sport ShowRelease time:06-Jan-2020Clicks:
Article From:SGB MEDIA
 
Tributes from current and former players, sports league executives and broadcast executives arrived following the passing of David Stern, the NBA’s commissioner during the most successful period in league history.
 
Stern, who was the league’s commissioner from 1984 through February 1, 2014, passed away at the age of 77 as a result of a brain hemorrhage he suffered approximately three weeks ago.
 
The NBA was lagging behind the MLB and NFL when Stern took over in 1984 but became a global juggernaut behind his leadership that expertly marketed superstars Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, among others. Globally,  NBA basketball is now seen by many as the world’s most popular sport after soccer. The $5-billion-a-year league features games broadcast in more than 200 countries in 40 languages.
 
During his time as commissioner, the league added seven franchises and launched the WNBA and the NBA Development League, now called the G League. Stern was also involved in numerous initiatives that changed the league, including drug tests, a salary cap and a dress code. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
 
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, “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.”
 
Among the other tributes:
 
SFIA (Sports and Fitness Industry Association)
“David Stern was an amazing innovator and ambassador for the sport of basketball. We admire his strong support of the sports industry throughout his career. His contributions to growing the sport will go down in history as one of the best.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
“All of us at the National Football League are deeply saddened by the passing of David Stern. David was a driving force in sports for decades and helped the NBA soar to new heights around the world. I called him the dean of commissioners, not only for his longevity and his vision for the NBA but for his willingness to offer advice when I first started as NFL commissioner. We extend our condolences and support to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and our friends at the NBA.”
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
“My wife Willow Bay and I are deeply saddened by the loss of David Stern, who left an indelible mark on the sports industry and helped turn the NBA into a global cultural force. He was an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Our hearts are with his family and the NBA.”
Michael Eisner, former CEO,  The Walt Disney Company
“#DavidStern passed away today, the master architect of sports management and marketing. For decades we at @ABCNetwork/@espn negotiated for broadcast rights from the @NBA and Stern was always a gentleman never raising his voice. A visionary. My condolences to his wonderful family.”
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro
 “David Stern was a brilliant leader whose vision was instrumental in creating the global success the NBA enjoys today. ESPN is deeply grateful for his tremendous partnership through the years. Our thoughts are with David’s loved ones, Commissioner Silver and the entire NBA family at this difficult time.”
Bob Johnson, Founder of BET and Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies
“The sports world and the NBA lost a visionary business leader and a force for racial participation and opportunity at all levels of the NBA with the untimely passing of David Stern. I was honored, under David’s leadership and encouragement, to become the first African American majority owner of an NBA basketball team, the Charlotte Bobcats. David’s legacy will be that of a one-of-a-kind individual who nurtured and built a sports league that will leave an indelible and giant footprint in the global arena of sports competition and the unifying culture of sports in our lives.”
The National Basketball Players Association
“The entire basketball community is heartbroken. David Stern earned and deserved inclusion in our land of giants. His impact on our game and our business is immeasurable and the rewards we reap will continue to be appreciated by NBA players and their families for generations. As tough an adversary as he was across the table, he never failed to recognize the value of our players and had the vision and courage to make them the focus of our league’s marketing efforts — building the NBA into the empire it is today. We owe him and we will miss him.”
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. The WNBA will be forever grateful for his exemplary leadership and vision that led to the founding of our league. His steadfast commitment to women’s sports was ahead of its time and has provided countless opportunities for women and young girls who aspire to play basketball. He will be missed.”
Michael Jordan
“Without David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today. He guided the league through turbulent times and grew the league into an international phenomenon, creating opportunities that few could have imagined before. His vision and leadership provided me with the global stage that allowed me to succeed. David had a deep love for the game of basketball and demanded excellence from those around him—and I admired him for that. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I offer my deepest sympathies to Dianne and his family.”
LeBron James
“Thank you for your commitment to the beautiful game of basketball that has changed so many young adult/kids lives and more importantly your vision to make our game become WORLDWIDE was a vision only you could make happen! You did just that. Making our game the greatest sport in the world!”
Magic Johnson
“David Stern was such a history maker. When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand. When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All-Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.”
Larry Bird
“There are no words that can really describe the far-reaching impact of Commissioner Stern’s brilliance, vision, fairness and hard work over so many years. When you think of all that he accomplished worldwide on behalf of thousands of players, so many fans, all of the jobs he created for team and arena employees and all of the people that benefited from the many layers of growth in the sport and industry that David spearheaded and then passed on to others, there is no doubt Commissioner Stern lifted the NBA to new heights and he will be greatly missed by all of us.”
Kobe Bryant
“The game changed in so many ways under David Stern’s leadership and vision. He demanded the best of everyone because he gave it himself. #Respect Thank you, Commissioner. RIP.”
James Harden
 “The league wouldn’t be what it is today without you. The entire NBA family and fans around the world will miss you.

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