Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 1:40 pm  |  61 responses

NBA Commissioner David Stern to Step Down on February 1, 2014

David Stern’s retirement plans have been a poorly-kept secret of late. Following multiple media reports, the NBA confirmed today that Stern is stepping down as of February 1, 2014. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will take over.

Per the press release:

David Stern spent nearly 30 years growing the NBA, turning a league that couldn’t even get its championship series on live prime-time TV into a projected $5 billion a year industry. Confident the NBA is in good shape and certain he has found someone who can make it even better, Stern is ready to end one of the most successful and impactful careers in sports history. Stern will retire as commissioner Feb. 1, 2014, 30 years to the day after taking charge of the league, and be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.

“I decided that things are in great shape and there’s an organization in place that will ultimately be led by Adam that is totally prepared to take it to the next level,” Stern said.

Stern said he wouldn’t leave until he knew there was a successor ready, and he has repeatedly said Silver is ready for that role. Stern said he would always remain available to take a call and help the league. “Life is a journey and it’s been a spectacular journey,” Stern said. “Each step along the way there are things that you have to do, things that you maybe wish you hadn’t done. But I don’t keep that list, and so I’m totally pleased and I’m particularly pleased with the transition of which we’re now embarking.”

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  • Tommy Point

    You will not be missed.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He did a lot of great things for the league in his almost 30 years. Didn’t really care too much for him for the past decade.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    its definitely bittersweet.

  • justin05

    LOL. Maybe he’ll get hit by a bus and have to retire early.

  • Redd

    Doesn’t matter, Adam Silver, his lackey will replace him. It’ll be like he never left. They didnt cast votes or anything.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    agreed. i can’t see much change

  • Rd

    And the empire shall fall

  • Caboose

    David Stern’s career is the same as Antoine Walker’s:
    Entered the league with some attention but not wild enthusiasm. Impressed us all with unique skills right off the bat. Very quickly got very good at what they do. Brought popularity because of their new perspective. Consistently good for many years. Always did effective things, but never very efficiently. However, when the landscape changed, struggled to adapt. Fans turned quickly, but still remembered all the good they did. Some stupid decisions made, and fans turn completely. Earlier body of work ignored or criticized because of taint of latest debacle. Retire to cheers from fans who are glad they are gone.

  • spit hot fiyah

    why did the sexy silver chant die out in this years draft? that has become my favourite part. SEXY SILVER clapclapclap SEXY SILVER


    Would be hilarious if David Stern came back to the D-League in a few years because he’s completely broke!

  • justin05

    Antoine Walker was an actual basketball player though. Stern is just a business man. David wouldn’t be nearly as successful without MJ, Bird, Magic, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe, Lebron, and all the other players that influenced NBA fans to love this game.

  • zogs19994


  • Caboose

    It’s called a metaphor. But nice try.

  • theDankerNuggets

    Very happy to see this, it’s about damn time someone else run the show!

  • shutup

    Ding dong the witch is dead.

  • LakeShow

    Emperor Palatines reign comes to an end!

  • Junior Taylor

    So I guess no one has a say into choosing the next commissioner. “Let’s get one thing straight, this isn’t a democracy anymore” *walking dead shoutout*

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.wright.1671 Wesley Wright

    Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYE!!!!!!!!

  • roscoe

    For all the due criticism Stern is owed he is also due some credit for helping to make the nba what is today. When you think about it he has had a job all of us would love to have.

  • justin05

    I enjoy your metaphors and analogies actually Caboose, it’s just a fact that the players make the league what it is.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    464 days kids

  • nhm

    thanks for turning basketball into a global sport and NBA into a worldwide spectacle.., say what you can, but i don’t see that with nfl, and even baseball..

  • bike

    I hope, as a retirement gift, they present him with one of those microfiber basketballs he thought were so great with the word “putz” printed on it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULAvG4WxQp0 CubicleDunker

    But no individual player makes the league, if there were no Lebron, KD, Kobe, etc there would be someone else. The advertising and business side is what even gives us the chance to watch the game in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert


  • pavlo

    that Silver looks like a spineless yes-man

  • Panther32

    Commissioner Stern after 30 boring years THE ROCK says “Know your role and SHUT Your mouth”

  • patrick

    nice,,i think silver is a lot more easy-goin..wililng to change his mind


    I disliked the way Stern handled the lockout, and in general has handled things the past 5 years, but all this hate is ridiculous. The NBA would not be where it is today without Stern. He’s the leadership and the marketing force that turned it into what it is. Show some respect for that. All pro-sport comissioners draw a hard line but I’d still rather have Stern then Bud Selig, Roger Goodell, or Gary Bettman.

  • Junior Taylor

    *correction* The NBA wouldn’t be where it is today without Bird/Magic then MJ and now Kobe/LeBron.

  • zogs19994
  • Dutch Rich

    I’ve been following the NBA for almost his entire tenure, starting in my native country as an 11 yr old kid. I honestly can’t think of many leaving a legacy behind that’s this significant. He’s never cared much for his own popularity. Always made the difficult decisions. Never afraid to experiment and always took responsibility. A true Visionary if you ask me. Never been a scandal. The dress code was probably the most unpopular decision (fan perspective) he’s made during his tenure, universally embraced by now.
    Kudos to Mr. Stern on a job tremendously done.

  • Mtothes

    Two words that will forever make me less appreciate him: Dunk Wheel

  • The Last Kings Fan

    For the people saying that there was no vote for the next commissioner, there was, by the owners who the commish represents. Silver was approved unanimously.

  • phil

    About time! What is this a jewish position now?


    You act like the Pre-Stern NBA was void of once-in-a-generation talent. Those guys defiantly played a huge part in the success of the NBA (they are the ones who play the games after all) but without Stern’s vision and leadership, the league would not be where it is today and those players wouldn’t be earning so much money in salary and from endorsements. Stern made the NBA profitable, popular internationally, and entertaining. He deserves more respect; even after his lockout conduct.

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Does that make Billy Hunter Darth Vader? And the owner’s basically Jabba the Hut?

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Just needs to add a new dress code so that thick framed, fake glasses are banned and he gets the Greatest Commissioner of All Time award.

  • danpowers


  • Junior Taylor

    Stern played a role but let’s not act like the man is the biggest reason for the NBA’s success here and overseas. Before Magic/Bird, the League was seen as a Big Man game therefore boring to most people which led to most games even the Finals to be shown on tape delay. Go back and look at the winners of Finals in the 70s it was mostly led by dominant bigs (Unseld, Walton, Reed, KAJ and Wilt). Also, you have to remember that one of the most exciting players of all-time (Dr.J) didn’t arrive onto the NBA landscape until ’76.

  • Redd

    I find it very admirable that everyone disliked this post.

  • justin05

    I agree Cubicle, no one player does make the league. It takes all of them. Players like Lebron just boost ratings even more. The business side would be a great job though, I know I’d take that career in a heartbeat. Who here wouldn’t want to be the commisioner of the NBA?

  • MikeC.

    The main reason the NBA was unpopular pre-Magic-Bird was the mostly accurate perception that everyone was blasting more white powder than a snowplow.

  • SirGrey

    I’d still have David Stern shake hands at the draft. That’s what I like him for.

  • MikeC.

    The people here cheering Stern’s exit obviously don’t know the tough decisions made to run a successful business. Sure Stern effed up a few times, but I feel he had at least a 95% success rate.

  • manhandled

    “The NBA would not be where it is today without Stern.” Where exactly is that? After reading some of the posts on this forum, many of you seem oblivious to the reality that basketball is not growing in popularity in the U.S. which is the reason why the NBA is pushing for International expansion. The most recent peak of popularity for basketball was in the late 90s. Since then it`s been mediocre at best at about 6%. It should come to no surprise, that American football (specifically NFL) has an overwhelming and growing advantage over all other sports in the U.S. right now at about 35%. And with new, unfavorable rules being implemented and super-teams being formed thereby excluding non super-team fans, I don`t see the NBA having a sudden growth spurt in popularity anytime soon. So, they better get all they can out of the International market.


  • Redd

    Bud Selig? Yeah just stop right there. For you to talk like the MBA would be stagnant is ridiculous. When you watch the NBA it’s not for David Stern.


    Without Stern marketing the game, it is useless. I’m pretty sure Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich or any of the other pre-Stern hall of fame guards and small forwards would disagree that the NBA was only a big man’s game. People remember Wilt, Willis, Bill Russel, George Mikan, and the rest of the league’s giants because they were marketed as the main attractions: come see the giants battle. Because their were so few big men, the ones who dominated DOMINATED. But that doesn’t mean any of those guards I named were not spectacular. Stern understood that he needed to bring the game down to earth and down to size: and he used Larry and Magic to do it. They were still big but they weren’t giants. Read Jackie Macmullan’s book on Magic and Larry if you want the full picture of how he did it. Companies viewed the NBA as an unwise investment before Stern took over. He commercialized the game and upped the ante to the point where it is today. Sure, you can say the amount of player salaries he wanted to cut during the past lockout was unfair. I agree! But let us not forget they would have never gotten that high without him at the helm.

  • John Lloyd

    It’s about F’in time bro.

  • Conor

    Terrible, but true.

    The owners are the commissioner’s puppeteers.

  • Drig

    Fake glasses and tight jeans…….God they’re an eyesore….

  • danpowers

    not really. e.g. here in germany the nba is not pushing anything neither. during the last decade we had no nba basketball on free tv even though we had dirk. since the 90s bball stagnates and its an issue among basketball fans. when one of our leading nba journalist addressed this issue in an interview stern said “i am not concerned about that, you got nba on pay tv and you got the league pass”. smh i wonder how this is supposed to reach kids then? they dont even try to spread it broadly. i just guess they concentrate on china with that

  • SWIFTboy

    Say what you will about David Stern, but be happy you don’t have Dana White as the figurehead of your favourite sport. Trust me, it could be much, much, much worse.

  • Max

    “Its about damn time!” – Lebron James.

  • Kilo

    I am not old enough to remeber the NBA being tape delyaed, but I do remeber the dress code and the Chris Paul veto among other things that made me somone that is not a fan of Stern. I have to respect what he did before I was born though or the NBA would be a sceond class leauge.

  • L Dribble

    That and, if you believe the very good Magic/Bird doco, it was seen as a black man’s game. The documentary suggests that Bird got white people interested in the game again – I’m not versed on that period as I only started watching in 1992 when it was wall-to-wall Jordan.

  • pposse

    anyone who loves nba basketball can do this job


    The only reason the NBA even is broadcasted on so many different channels is because of the deals Stern made. I recommend reading how he did it and the methods he used before you simply write him off as “players playing the game make it exciting enough.” Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game wasn’t recorded and was in an arena that only held slight above 4,000 people in it. I’m pretty sure that was an exciting moment in NBA history. Compare it to Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game: played in arena that can hold up to 19,000 people and televised on multiple channels in two countries. How do you think things got that way? It wasn’t magic (double entendre!) it was business. Stern isn’t some idiot who simply plugged things in to a circuit board and made money – he’s the best commissioner in modern sports and shaped the NBA into what it is today.

  • http://twitter.com/Neitel_17 Nathan Agosto
  • Redd

    To think only Stern could have done that is ignorant, by theory anyone could have.


    That is a statement with no foundation and is simply not true. Be careful when tossing around the word ignorant…