NEW YORK: David Stern steps down on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) after 30 years as commissioner of the NBA, a reign that saw him transforms the league from a downtrodden afterthought into a global sporting powerhouse.
The 71-year-old son of a New York deli owner revitalized the NBA with business and marketing moves that took full advantage of the skills of such stars as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James.
“This has been a great run,” Stern said. “I’ve had a lot of fun.”
A league that had some playoff games shown on tape delay when Stern began now telecasts the NBA Finals into 215 nations in 47 languages.
“We had to get the finals off tape delay,” Stern said. “We had not to cut out franchises. We had four getting ready to file bankruptcy.”