October 29, 2012 12:06 PM by Braxton
On Thursday, October 26th, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that he would be stepping down from his duties on February 1st, 2014, exactly 30-years to the day that he became the NBA commissioner. Of the four major sports in North America, Stern is the longest-tenured Commissioner. Roger Goodell has been at the helm of the NFL for six years, and Bud Selig has overlooked the MLB for fourteen years. Gary Bettman has done a horrible job at running the NHL since 1993, but that’s an article for another time.
Stern made it extremely clear that he will still be in charge of operations for the next 15 months, and believes that he is leaving the NBA in terrific condition. “It’s been a great run. The league is in, I think, terrific condition. I’d like to think I did an adequate job.” Stern said, as he addressed the media on Thursday afternoon. “But one of the things I did best was provide a successor. I’m not going anyplace in the next 15 months, but this gives us the opportunity to have a very smooth transition.”
It was no surprise that David Stern was at least considering stepping down, as he had handed off some of his duties to Deputy Commissioner and COO of the NBA, Adam Silver. Although there will still be a vote and negotiations, Adam Silver is widely believed to step into Stern’s role in 2014. Silver has worked multiple jobs in the NBA, including NBA chief of staff and Senior Vice President of NBA entertainment, for over two decades.
When asked about his time as commissioner, Stern said the lowest point in his career was banning players from the NBA due to positive drug tests. Although he may not be the most popular figure in the sports world, just ask any basketball fans in Seattle, David Stern did a lot of good for the NBA. He expanded the league from 23 to 30 teams, vastly improved the revenue for each team, and moved teams to small markets such as Oklahoma City, Sacramento, and Memphis. Along with that, he backed the movement of NBA players playing in the Olympics, and established the WNBA. When he was asked why he wanted to retire 30-years to the day he was hired, he jokingly said that he wanted to stay one year for every team in the NBA.
“Life is a journey and it’s been a spectacular journey. Each step along the wa there are things that you have to do, things you maybe wish you hadn’t done. But I don’t keep that list, and so I’m totally please and I’m particularly please with the transition of which we’re now embarking.” Stern said. He may not be the most like man, or the most respected, but there is absolutely no denying that David Stern was, and is, a great commissioner who saved the NBA.