Walt Frazier Reflecting on NBA Commissioner David Stern Stepping Down in 2014: ‘He Built the League’
Most times celebrated, other times tenuous, the tenure NBA commissioner David Stern is no longer open-ended. Stern announced yesterday that he’ll leave his post on February 1, 2014, exactly 30 years after it all began.
Stern’s time with the NBA started in 1966 as an outside counsel. In 1978, Stern was on the fast track to the top job, named general counsel under then-commissioner Larry O’Brien. Two years later, Stern moved a step closer as executive VP of the NBA.
When Stern took over as commish in 1984, several big name players were drafted. The biggest of the bunch, Michael Jordan became the center of TV coverage for the next 15 years. With that mind, television revenues have jumped exponentially since Stern ran the show, now approaching $1.3 billion.
Salaries have also skyrocketed under Stern’s watch. The average pay for a player stands at a cool $5 million, while it was a paltry $250,000 in 1984, The New York Times reports.
Stern, 70, handpicked his successor, Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner since 2006.