Adam Silver will finally have his chance to get booed during the first round of the NBA draft, because David Stern is quitting during the 2014 NBA season.
“The Board has selected Adam Silver to succeed me as NBA Commissioner, and I am very pleased with their choice,” Stern said in the email. “As you know, Adam is a world-class business executive who has influenced so many areas of our business during his 20-year tenure with the league, from television, to digital, to international, to merchandising, to sponsorships, to team business, to, of course, labor negotiations. I know that the organization will be in very good hands when Adam becomes Commissioner.”
2014 will be Stern’s 30th year at the NBA’s helm. And while Stern has recently become quite vilified, he is very much responsible for the league’s resurgence from the depths of tape delayed playoff games. Stern’s marketing savvy played up individuals, which began the prosperous explosion of NBA basketball.
However, Stern has long dealt with conspiracy theorists who think he rigged a draft for the Knicks to get Patrick Ewing, as well as various playoff games through referee manipulation. And while none of this has ever been proven, a large percentage of NBA fans believe Stern pulls strings to get the results he wants.
In this “what have you done for me lately” world, Stern will leave the sport as a 70 year-old Montgomery Burns-esque villain… a man who locked out the league last year despite rising profits in an effort to make his billionaire buddies richer. He has crafted the rules of the game to his liking, mostly by bullying changes through various channels.
At 70 years old, there’s little doubt that some of the game has passed him by, and that his tenure as commissioner is a bit past its expiration date. But he is responsible for creating the very system he railed against during the lockout. He bears a lot of responsibility for creating this multi-billion dollar global empire that he tried to rein in last summer. When the final chapter is written, David Stern should be remembered for building the league up to its highest point, as well as for being the bully being booed off the stage one final time in 2014.