The 2014 Basketball Hall of Fame class will be headlined by, among others, former NBA commissioner David Stern. The Hall will recognize Stern’s pivotal role over three decades in helping transform the NBA into the financial and entertainment juggernaut it is today. Per the AP:

“You can’t even do justice to everything that everybody has done,” Stern said in a phone interview. “All you can do is focus on small chunks of it, but it’s great fun to contemplate how the NBA family has pulled together to be at a place where our players are now at the top of the celebrity period. […] Pretty, pretty amazing and great.”

 

Stern will be enshrined Friday in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, part of a 2014 class that includes former players Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond, along with NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams.

 

Stern ended his run as commissioner after exactly 30 years on Feb. 1 — he won’t say retired, because he’s still working — and once thought he would wait five years for induction, same as players. Officials from the NBA and Hall of Fame persuaded him otherwise, and nobody is arguing that he belongs immediately. […] “To me, it’s a very important award, a recognition by your peers in a sport where you spent your adult life working,” he said, adding it’s “at the top of the chart in terms of the way it makes you feel and the recognition of it.”