OKC Thunder: NBA remembers Former Commissioner David Stern

OKC Thunder: NBA commissioner, David Stern, talks with Hall of Famer Charles Barkley (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: NBA commissioner, David Stern, talks with Hall of Famer Charles Barkley (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern was honored with a moment of silence prior to the OKC Thunder and San Antonio Spurs game. All teams will add a black band to their uniforms this season as an ongoing tribute.

Like the OKC Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, the teams who played on Thursday all recognized a moment of silence for former NBA commissioner David Stern who passed on Wednesday. He was in the hospital following a brain hemorrhage he suffered on Dec. 12 while out for dinner with his wife Dianne.

Stern served as the NBA Commissioner for 30 years retiring in February of 2014. Throughout the league teams, management and former players have all taken to social media and national media to pay tribute to the man who was instrumental for the growth and development of what the National Basketball Association has become in its present format.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Some of his main achievements included growing the game internationally, fostering the involvement of professionals in the Olympics, launching the WNBA and introducing the G-League which was originally the D-League.

He stood beside Magic Johnson when the latter announced he had contracted the HIV virus and spearheaded Johnson playing at the All-Star Game as well as the Olympics. At the time that was a big deal because so much uncertainty surrounded the disease.

At the time Stern assumed office the NBA was barely on the radar when it came to the professional sports leagues even the playoffs were aired on tape delay. Thinking of how the league grew and the coverage of the current day product speaks to the efforts made by Stern to make the NBA a viable sports and entertainment product.

The latter portion of that equation being ‘entertainment’ and that was largely accomplished by Stern’s approach to focusing on individual stars and putting them at the forefront of selling the league to the masses. In many ways, Stern’s success is tied to the popularity of Michael Jordan but in the same token if it wasn’t MJ he would’ve focused on a group of stars.

Some of the more negative aspects of Stern’s tenure were the extended lockouts, the mishandling of previous Clippers owner Donald Sterling and having to address the Malace in the Palace situation. And, some felt Stern allowing the move of the Seattle SuperSonics to become the OKC Thunder was a misstep. Although you’ll be hard pressed to find agreement about that last point in OKC.

Teams, current and former players and other sports leaders continue to send out their condolences to Stern’s family.

Fan voted Thunder All-Decade team. dark. Next

As a long term response, the NBA will add black bands to team uniforms to pay homage to David Stern.