Born In: New York, New York, United States
David Stern was an American businessman and lawyer, best known for being the fourth commissioner of the ‘National Basketball Association’ (NBA). Born and raised in a Jewish family in New York City, David graduated high school from ‘Teaneck High School.’ He then graduated in history from ‘Rutgers University’ and then attended ‘Columbia Law School.’ Subsequently, he began working at the law firm ‘Proskauer, Rose, Goetz and Mendelsohn,’ which represented the ‘National Basketball League.’ He joined the law firm as an outside counsel in 1966, and in the late 1970s, he became the general counsel. In 1980, he had a huge breakthrough when he was selected to become the league’s executive vice president. He became the commissioner of the ‘NBA’ in 1984, and thus began a successful tenure that made the ‘NBA’ hugely popular in the country. David used many tactics, sometimes controversial, to popularize the ‘NBA’ in the US. On February 1, 2014, he stepped down from his position after serving the league for thirty years as a commissioner. He was the longest-serving ‘NBA’ commissioner at the time of his retirement.
Also Known As: David Joel Stern
Died At Age: 77
Spouse/Ex-: Dianne Bock (m. 1963)
father: William Stern
Born Country: United States
place of death: Manhattan, New York, United States
Cause of Death: Brain Hemorrhage
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
He received his bachelor’s degree in history in 1963, and began preparing to enter law school. He graduated from the ‘Columbia Law School’ in 1966, and cleared the ‘New York Bar’ exam to officially become a lawyer.
He was assigned as the lead attorney by the firm to represent the ‘NBA’ in the famous Robertson vs ‘NBA’ case, which was brought upon the league by the former star player Oscar Robertson. David ended up settling the issue in 1976, when the ‘NBA’/‘ABA’ merger was accepted in return for the abolishment of the clause that did not allow the players to be free agents. This case is also known as one of the landmark cases in the history of the ‘NBA.’
In 1978, pleased with his work, ‘NBA’ commissioner Larry O’Brien offered David a huge opportunity to become the ‘NBA’s general counsel. David left the law firm in order to take on his new responsibilities.
He quickly grew within the organization, and by the time the 1980s, arrived, he was serving as the executive vice president of the ‘NBA.’ His tenure was filled with many bold decisions that shaped the outlook of the league for good.
Two of the many landmark decisions that were made under his tenure were regarding drug testing and the team salary cap. The drug-testing rule was brought in to lift up the deteriorating image of the ‘NBA,’ as many players were getting accused of drug abuse. The salary cap benefitted the players greatly and created a system in which the team management and the players became partners in profit sharing.
The ‘NBA’ thus became a highly profitable entity under David’s leadership. The 1990s and the 2000s, are known as the golden age of the ‘NBA.’
After serving as the ‘NBA’s longest-serving commissioner for thirty years, David retired in February 2014.
David lived in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Dianne Bock Stern, and his two sons, Eric and Andrew.
He suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 12, 2019. David Stern died on January 1, 2020. He was 77.
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