NBA commissioner David Stern, nearing his 30th season as head of the league, will reportedly retire on Feb. 1, 2014.
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver was elected unanimously by the Board of Governors to succeed Stern.
Stern, whose made his retirement plans known to the public, decided to end his tenure on the 30th anniversary of his first day as commissioner.
“I don’t know what else to say other than to recite what I told the owners yesterday in executive session,” Stern, 70, said at a news conference. “I told them that it’s been a great run, it will continue for another 15 months, that the league is in, I think, terrific condition.”
The 70-year-old commissioner has been an omnipresent force in a league that has became a marketing cash cow. Prior to Stern’s tenure, when interest in the NBA was disproportionately lower than Major League Baseball and the National Football League, the league was generally unable to televise games on live television.
Stern, along with superstars Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and eventually, Michael Jordan, helped make the NBA into the lucrative business it is today.
The recent lockout may have tarnished his legacy but the fact remains: the NBA wouldn’t be nearly as successful without Stern.