There’s one individual that was more important to the NBA than Michael Jordan, and he never once stepped on the court or make one basket — that’s David Stern.
The former NBA commissioner died yesterday at the age of 77 and we’d be severely remiss if we didn’t commemorate his work for the NBA in some way.
Stern guided and grew the league over his 30 year tenure. During that time he brought the NBA overseas; increasing the popularity of the sport (and the NBA brand), brokered several groundbreaking TV broadcasting deals with NBC, ESPN and TNT, introduced the WNBA and G-League, and transformed the NBA from a struggling professional league into the powerhouse it is today; one that all professional sports leagues envy.
LeBron James, Bill Russell, Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Shaquille O’Neal and NBA’s greatest players all paid their tributes to Stern when they heard that he had passed away. There is no doubt that Stern was the single-most important person in NBA history. Davis Stern is the real GOAT.