Here’s the official statement from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“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.”
Stern had suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 17th. He was 77 years old. Celtics Governor Wyc Grousbeck had these words for the former commissioner:
“David was a towering figure whose accomplishments in building the NBA will never be forgotten. His leadership brought the game of basketball to people all over the world and helped change what the NBA could mean to people. His commitment to community service demonstrated how sports can have a positive social impact and transformed how we think of sports. He personally welcomed our Celtics ownership group into the league, and was our close friend for the past 17 years, and we will always be grateful for having known him. On behalf of the Celtics organization, we express our deepest condolences to his wife Dianne, and his sons Andrew and Eric.”
Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren said, “no one cared about the game more than he did, and we’re all better for it.”
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA pic.twitter.com/mbnneqm18s— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 1, 2020