David Stern, who served as NBA commissioner for three decades starting in 1984, passed away on January 1 at the age of 77. Stern guided the league to compete for the mantle of most popular sport in America and, even more notably, expanded its reach into the global market.
REACTIONS TO DAVID STERN’S PASSING
A who’s who of NBA players, including Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, took to social media to share their condolences, with many remembering their ceremonial handshake with the commissioner which marked their entry into the league.
RIP Mr David Stern
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) 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
RIP David Stern🙏🏾! Shaking your hand on June, 26, 2003 was a dream come true ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZCT7naJPcU
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 1, 2020
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I will never EVER forget when you called my name on stage and I shook your hand. My dream came true!!! Thank you for your commitment to the beautiful game of basketball that has changed so many young adult/kids lives and more importantly your vision to make our game become WORLDWIDE was a vision only you could make happen! You did just that. Making our game the greatest sport in the world! Was a honor to know you personally. Rest In Paradise David Stern! My prayers goes to your family and friends throughout this difficult time! 🙏🏾💪🏾👑
Will never forget the words you spoke this day! "With the 7th pick" changed my life forever. Thank you and your family for your leadership and commitment to growing the game of basketball around the World. Forever grateful. RIP Commisoner Stern! pic.twitter.com/o7S4IT54NQ
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 1, 2020
— James Harden (@JHarden13) January 1, 2020
Th NBA and my family would not be in our position if wasn’t for one of the greatest Commissioners in professional sports. RIP David Stern. The game thanks you and will miss you.
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/pCgPHiQ2eH
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) January 1, 2020
Cookie and I are devastated to hear about the passing of my longtime friend and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. A great man, husband, father, friend, businessman, and visionary, I loved and respected him.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 1, 2020
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
Sad news. We lost a legend! RIP David Stern
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 1, 2020
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