One of sport's longest serving administrators, Commissioner David Stern, has announced he will be leaving his job as head of the world's most popular basketball league, the NBA (National Basketball Association). The announcement comes just a few days before the 2012-13 season start, on 31 October, 2012. Here's a video of the retirement announcement on ESPN's YouTube channel.
Faniq reported this as follows:
David Stern has announced that he will be stepping down as commissioner of the NBA on February 1, 2014. The date is significant in that it marks the 30th year since Stern’s inception into the NBA.
“I told (the owners) that it's been a great run that will continue for another 15 months,” said Stern. I'd like to think I did an adequate job. But one of the things I did best was provide a successor. I'm not going anyplace in the next 15 months, but this gives us the opportunity to have a very smooth transition.”
It is for other people, including those who worked with and against him for three decades, to hash out Stern’s legacy. He is a bit of a bully, with a legendary temper that set league office employees on edge. He is also a creative thinker and a visionary who has been willing to admit, when asked the right questions, how fortunate he was to take the job when he did — in 1984, as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were taking the league from tape delay to prime time, and as Michael Jordan and Nike were beginning their dual rise to an unprecedented level of fame that would change sports forever. The next 15 months will feature hagiographies to Stern, and the NBA will rightfully honor him as the steward who negotiated mammoth television deals, understood the importance of media, took risks both successful (the Dream Team) and less successful (the NBA’s ongoing venture into China) to expand the game globally, and always operated with the best interests of the league — and its owners — in mind. Another part of that legacy: He and the players union pioneered the salary cap system, now common in other sports, that links player salaries in the aggregate with league revenues and simultaneously limits what each team can spend.
Stern announced on Wednesday his plans to retire on February 1, 2014–which coincidentally happens to be the official 30-year mark of when he took over the job as commissioner. When the time does come around, Stern will hand the keys over to current deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
There are mixed feelings about this move by Stern as he’s been the type of commissioner who has received almost as much praise as criticism when it comes to his job. While Stern played a big role in helping the NBA grow in general during the 80′s and 90′s along with basketball around the world, Stern was also part of two seasons that were cut short due to a lockout–with the latest one taking place last year when the Heat won it all.
Oh and let’s not forget all of the controversy surrounding Tim Donaghy and the referee scandal regarding whether or not certain games were fixed to help win bets.
Whether you liked him or not, it’s safe to say Stern’s time as commissioner of the NBA was long overdue and it should be interesting to see how he does during his final 15 months on the job.
Sekou's Smith Hang-time Blog on NBA.com also gave a brief on David Stern's ‘anointed’ successor, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver:
Silver, 50, has been an NBA executive for 20 years and deputy commissioner since July 2006. After a few weeks of negotiations, the Board of Governors is expected to hold a vote in April that will result in Silver becoming just the fifth commissioner in league history, succeeding Maurice Podoloff(1947-63), J. Walter Kennedy (1963-75), Larry O’Brien (1975-84) and Stern.
Now “commissioner-elect,” Silver said to Stern, seated next to him during the news conference: “I think there’s no doubt you’ll be remembered as the best [commissioner] of all time. You set the standard, not just for the sports industry but I think all CEOs.”
Stern called Silver a “world-class executive” and said, while he had him in mind as his likely successor for years, he “could not be happier” that the Board of Governors approved Silver unanimously.
The game of basketball enjoys fairly good reach around the globe, and no doubt David Stern has helped achieve this in part in the 30 years he has served; it just shows what a great legacy he will leave.