Former NBA commissioner David Stern passes away at 77

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES - OCTOBER 10: Davis Stern at a press conference before NBA match between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines.

NBA commissioner emeritus David Stern passes away after leading the league during a period of unprecedented growth.

New Year’s Day symbolizes renewed hope for better things ahead, but unfortunately for the NBA this year, the league is dealing with a massive loss. Former commissioner David Stern passed away on Wednesday as a result of a brain hemorrhage suffered during a stroke three weeks ago.

The league is losing a titan of the game who helped move the league forward.

“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’svision, generosity and inspiration,” current commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “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 ran the league from 1984 to 2014 before Silver took over. During Stern’s 30 years, he oversaw plenty of growth, but his fair share of controversy as well.

Stern oversaw the addition of seven new teams, including the Toronto Raptors which truly made the NBA an international entity. The Hornets, Timberwolves, Heat, Magic, Grizzlies, and Bobcats were the other six teams who pushed the league to its current state of 30 teams.

While Stern helmed the league, he instituted a controversial dress code that many of the players fought back against. Additionally, four lockouts occurred under Stern with the most recent coming during the 2011-12 season.

Despite the controversies, it’s hard to deny Stern’s influence on the NBA. Few commissioners in professional sports can match his track record of success.

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