David Stern, National Basketball Association commissioner emeritus and one of the most influential figures in the history of US sports, suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage late on December 12 and had emergency surgery.
The 77-year-old Stern was hospitalized in New York. A league statement did not detail his medical condition but said “our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family.”
Stern served as NBA commissioner for 30 years until 2014, when he was succeeded by Adam Silver. During Stern’s long tenure, he ushered wide growth in essentially every facet of the league’s business, notably its global expansion that saw NBA content reach more than 200 countries, the NBA start to do meaningful business in China and India, and saw its top players compete regularly in the Olympics.
He also oversaw the development of the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League, now called the G League.
Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Since Stern left the NBA, he has been highly active as a New York-based investor and business advisor, participating in funding rounds for a wide variety of sports technology startups. His Micromanagement Ventures, an effort with former ESPN digital chief John Kosner, provides counsel and investment capital for emerging sports tech firms, and the pair have an aggressive goal of fundamentally helping shape the next generation of sports media consumption.