Reaction from the basketball world and beyond to the death of former NBA Commissioner David Stern on Wednesday at age 77:
â€œFor 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. 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.â€ – Adam Silver, who followed Stern as commissioner.
â€œWithout David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today. He guided the league through turbulent times and grew the league into an international phenomenon, creating opportunities that few could have imagined before. His vision and leadership provided me with the global stage that allowed me to succeed. David had a deep love for the game of basketball and demanded excellence from those around him – and I admired him for that.â€ – Michael Jordan.
â€œDavid Stern was such a history maker. When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand. When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.â€ – Magic Johnson.
â€œHe was a man of great vision and energy who is responsible for the operational and business advancements that created the modern sports industry. David taught me how to be a commissioner and, more importantly, how to try to be a good person.â€ – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
â€œWill never forget the words you spoke this day! â€˜With the 7th pickâ€™ 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 Commissioner Stern!â€ – Golden State guard Stephen Curry.
â€œThe game lost a leader today.â€ – Oklahoma City guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association.
â€œThank you David Stern, the greatest commissioner of any professional sports ever. Thank you for what youâ€™ve done for the game globally. May you Rest In Peace.â€ – Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum, who is French.
â€œRIP David. You always said you made me and you were absolutely right. You were a friend, mentor and administrator of the largest donut fund ever. You are missed.â€ – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, referring to the many times Stern fined Cuban for league infractions.
â€œDavid will always be remembered as Superman in Sacramento. His impact on the league will leave a lasting imprint around the world and his fierce support of the team and this community is the reason why the Kings stayed in Sacramento. Davidâ€™s enthusiasm for our city and belief in our fans will never be forgotten.â€ – Kings owner Vivek RanadivÃ©.
â€œDavid Stern was a brilliant leader whose vision was instrumental in creating the global success the NBA enjoys today. ESPN is deeply grateful for his tremendous partnership through the years.â€ – ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro.
â€œDavid was a driving force in sports for decades and helped the NBA soar to new heights around the world. I called him the dean of commissioners, not only for his longevity and his vision for the NBA, but for his willingness to offer advice when I first started as NFL commissioner.â€ – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
â€œThe WNBA will be forever grateful for his exemplary leadership and vision that led to the founding of our league. His steadfast commitment to womenâ€™s sports was ahead of its time and has provided countless opportunities for women and young girls who aspire to play basketball. He will be missed.â€ – WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
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