David Stern, the NBA Commissioner from 1984 to 2014, has reportedly passed away at the age of 77.
A statement by the league reveals Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 12 and underwent emergency surgery. He passed away Wednesday afternoon (January 1) and was accompanied by his wife Dianne and their family at his bedside.
“The entire basketball community is heartbroken,” the National Basketball Players Association said. “David Stern earned and deserved inclusion in our land of giants.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Stern took the NBA into a "modern global NBA" over the course of his 30 years as commissioner when he started in 1984.
As news of Stern’s death hit headlines, celebrities in the NBA community and beyond are reacting. See what some of the biggest names are saying.
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
RIP Mr David Stern— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 1, 2020
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
Very sad day for basketball. We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room. He was an innovator who helped grow our sport into a global game and his impact will never be forgotten. RIP, Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/FzlJwnJmrK— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 1, 2020
The game changed in so many ways under David Stern’s leadership and vision. He demanded the best of everyone because he gave it himself. #Respect Thank you Commissioner. RIP 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/veT9GQfrdC— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 1, 2020
David Stern was such a history maker. When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand. When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 1, 2020
Sad news. We lost a legend! RIP David Stern— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 1, 2020
Thank you David Stern! You changed everything and we’re eternally grateful. Rest In Peace. Lots of love to the Stern family.— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) January 1, 2020
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I remember when every young Hooper Dream was to have this moment with the “COMMISSIONER”... Thank you for all you have done for the game. You were a true leader, visionary and also a flat out GAME CHANGER. The league wouldn’t be what it is today without you. The entire NBA family and fans around the world will miss you. 💔 #2009Draftday RIP #DavidStern 🙏🏾
Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images