Charles Barkley: "He was the greatest commissioner in sport history."
The National Basketball Association lost one of its most legendary mavericks this week as former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away on January 1st at the age of 77.
Stern had suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 12th, 2019, and had to undergo emergency surgery.
During Stern’s tenure as NBA commissioner from 1984-2014, he was credited and celebrated for making the NBA a GLOBAL entity, and revolutionizing the brand from taped delayed NBA Finals in the 70’s and 80’s all the way into a multi-billionaire dollar entity producing some of the most lucrative TV deals in the world.
Stern’s most notable contributions included founding the WNBA and G-League, launching NBA.com, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass, and also starting NBA Cares, a social responsibility program dedicated to helping communities.
However, perhaps Stern’s most enduring vision was his introduction of the league’s dress code before the 2005-2006 season. The league outlawed players from wearing chains, shorts, sleeveless shirts, indoor sunglasses, throwback jerseys, and baseball caps to the arenas, and required players to dress in 'business casual attire'. Even inactive players on the bench were required to wear sports coats and dress shoes. There was much resistance met throughout the league, with some players even calling the new guidelines ‘racist’.
More than a decade later and the move has been unanimously celebrated, with notable players like Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and even Draymond Green galvanizing a new culture of men’s fashion.
Check out the most notable reactions to Stern’s passing.