Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday afternoon, 20 days after he was hospitalized Dec. 12 in New York upon suffering a brain hemorrhage, the league announced. He was 77.
Stern collapsed while at Brasserie 8 1/2 in Manhattan and was then rushed to the hospital for surgery, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Dec. 12.
The NBA released the following statement from current commissioner Adam Silver.
"For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action," Silver said. "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 was NBA commissioner from Feb. 1, 1984, through Jan. 31, 2014. Silver succeeded Stern on Feb. 1, 2014.
During his 30-year tenure, Stern oversaw the league's creation of seven new franchises while six teams relocated. He also instituted a league dress code that remains in place and founded the WNBA.
Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.