David Stern, NBA Commissioner since Feb. 1, 1984, has announced that he will step down Feb. 1, 2014, and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver has been unanimously chosen to succeed him. David Stern is the longest-tenured commissioner in professional sport currently and his impact on the game has been profound. The date Stern has chosen will be his 30th anniversary of becoming commissioner.
Here are a few highlights from USA TODAY SPORTS of Stern’s time at the healm:
- The league’s revenues are projected to be $5 billion this season with strong ticket sales, TV deals and global business initiatives using a variety of traditional and digital platforms.
- Stern oversaw expansion with teams going into Charlotte, Minnesota, Miami and Vancouver and relocation that put teams in Memphis, New Orleans, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, Sacramento and Los Angeles.
- The rise in player salaries has been curbed because of the rookie salary scale and soft salary cap,
- Stern has raised the profile of the league’s charitable efforts, such as NBA Cares and Basketball Without Borders.
- The NBA has become a global game on and off the court, with foreign players rising to stardom in the NBA. NBA programming is available in more than 200 countries and in 47 languages.
- Stern has adapted to changes, and the NBA is a pro sports leader in social media with more than 270 million “likes” and “followers” on Facebook and Twitter.