David Stern announced today that effective February 1, 2014, he will be stepping down as NBA Commissioner. He will be replaced by Adam Silver, the current NBA deputy commissioner. Silver’s selection as Stern’s successor was approved unanimously.
Stern chose the date in 2014 as the 30th anniversary of his tenure as league commissioner. This move gives him plenty of time to smooth the transition to a new commissioner before fully stepping down. Recent controversies that labeled him as old and out of sync with the modern league, such as the Chris Paul trade he vetoed last year, had many basketball fans calling for his exit, and he was even booed loudly at the 2012 NBA Draft.
However, despite these recent problems, Stern is a huge reason the NBA is so popular today and he was an instrumental factor in the league’s development over the last 28 years. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Stern duplicated NBA revenue 24-fold in his time as commissioner. As the Godfather of the NBA, Stern will be missed as one of the greatest commissioners in the history of any professional sport.