Jessica Hill/Associated Press
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern died Wednesday at the age of 77 after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12.
The NBA issued a statement about Stern’s death:
According to ESPN, Stern was transported from a New York City restaurant to Mount Sinai West medical center to undergo emergency surgery after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Stern succeeded Larry O’Brien as the NBA’s commissioner in 1984 after serving as the NBA’s General Counsel and then executive vice president of the NBA. He would remain in his role as commissioner until his retirement in 2014.
During his 30-year tenure, Stern oversaw several significant changes and events in the NBA, including the addition of seven new franchises and six relocations.
Per ESPN, the NBA’s television revenue increased by 40 times under Stern and the average player salary ballooned from $250,000 per year to $5 million per year as well.
While he was executive vice president of the NBA, Stern also helped institute player drug testing and the salary cap.
One of Stern’s greatest accomplishments was the formation of the WNBA in 1997. The WNBA has been the premier basketball league for women’s players ever since, and it owns television deals with ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and CBS Sports Network.
Thanks to his contributions during nearly 50 years of association with the NBA, Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Stern, who was born on Sept. 22, 1942, in New York City, attended Rutgers University and then graduated from Columbia Law School in 1966. Prior to joining the NBA, Stern enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dianne, and their two sons, Eric and Andrew.