Euroleague Basketball joins the world basketball community in mourning the passing on Wednesday of David J. Stern, who led the sport to its greatest heights of global recognition during his 30-year tenure as NBA Commissioner. Mr. Stern underwent emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage on Thursday, Dec. 12 and died on Jan. 1 in New York at age 77.
Mr. Stern was a monumental force for the growth of basketball at a global level during his stewardship of the NBA between 1984 and 2014. Before his retirement, Mr. Stern was a partner and inspiration to Euroleague Basketball.
"I am shocked by the sad news of David leaving us," Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. "He devoted his life to basketball, a sport that cannot be understood without his contribution and revolutionary ideas. During his 30-year career as NBA Commissioner, he was a fundamental part of what we know as modern basketball, bringing the NBA to a global audience and unprecedented popularity. My deepest condolences, and those of all Euroleague Basketball clubs, go out to the NBA family, all his friends, and especially his wife Dianne and his two sons, Eric and Andrew."
With Mr. Stern's impetus, the two organizations collaborated on the NBA Europe Live series of preseason games over many seasons and opened the doors for recurrent exhibition games in the Unites States between NBA, EuroLeague and EuroCup teams. Mr. Stern was a regular at those games on both sides of the Atlantic and also attended the EuroLeague Final Four in Prague, Czech Republic in 2006.