David Stern, the former commissioner of the US National Basketball Association (NBA), has died at the age of 77.
Busybuddiesng.com understands Stern had been in a serious condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage in December.
He served as NBA’s longest commissioner for 30 years until his retirement in February 2014.
He is credited with massively increasing the sport’s revenues and popularity at home and abroad during his tenure.
Stern was appointed to take charge of the NBA in February 1984, at a time when Basketball drew in smaller television audiences and less money than other US sports like baseball and American football.
However, the 77-year-old built the NBA’s profile with a focus on its star players to the point that someone like Michael Jordan became a household name around the world.
During his three decades at the helm, seven new teams joined the league, including two in Canada. One of these – the Toronto Raptors – won their first NBA title in June. He also oversaw the creation of the Women’s NBA in 1997.
Current NBA chairman Adam Silver referred to David as a “global brand” and said, “Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.”