Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday. He was 77.
Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage Dec. 12, and had been hospitalized ever since. In a statement, current NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Stern “a mentor and one of my dearest friends.”
Silver also paid tribute to Stern, praising Stern for his various accomplishments as the NBA’s commissioner.
“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.
“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA pic.twitter.com/mbnneqm18s— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern🙏🏾! Shaking your hand on June, 26, 2003 was a dream come true ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZCT7naJPcU— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 1, 2020
RIP Mr David Stern— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 1, 2020
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
Steve Kerr on the legacy of Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. pic.twitter.com/kUWpEbfBr2— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 1, 2020
The two most important people in the history of the game of basketball are Dr James Naismith and DAVID STERN. One man created the game and the other made it what it is today. RIP David, so many owe you so much!— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) January 1, 2020
Very sad day for basketball. We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room. He was an innovator who helped grow our sport into a global game and his impact will never be forgotten. RIP, Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/FzlJwnJmrK— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 1, 2020
Sad day for the NBA and sport. Thanks to David Stern for his contributions to the game of basketball. A true visionary. He leaves an amazing legacy and I am proud to have known him.— Shane Battier (@ShaneBattier) January 1, 2020
The game lost a leader today. Extending my prayers to David’s family and loved ones in this time of grief 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/TgNKlyAKZi— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 1, 2020
Prayers up for David Stern and his family!— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) January 1, 2020
Rest In Peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/iCM8e5iL9n
RIP Commissioner Stern 🙏🏿 Thank you for everything you did for the game. Shaking your hand in 2003 will always be one of my most cherished memories. Sending my love and prayers to the Stern family during this time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8cjos50OHP— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) January 1, 2020
Sad news. We lost a legend! RIP David Stern— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 1, 2020
Thank you David Stern, the greatest commissioner of any professional sports ever. Thank you for what you’ve done for the game globally. May you Rest In Peace— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) January 1, 2020
More from Yahoo Sports: