Former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who ran the NBA for more than 30 years, collapsed in a New York restaurant on Thursday and was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent brain surgery for a "sudden brain hemorrhage."
"NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage earlier today for which he underwent emergency surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family," the NBA said in a statement.
No other details about Stern's condition was released.
Stern, 77, worked for thirty years as the league's fourth NBA Commissioner until he handed over the reins to the current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in 2014. Stern remained active in the NBA as an investor and has remained close to Silver and the NBA. Stern worked to grow the game and bring it to a wider audience both on TV and in print, helping to push the league into new heights as its popularity exploded in the 1980s and 90s. He's also credited for helping to turn global audiences on to the NBA and grow the game internationally.
"David Stern is the No. 1 force, the No. 1 reason why this league is where it is today," Miami Heat president Pat Riley said. "That's not disrespectful to any one great player in any one era or any owner. This has to do with the leadership of one man."