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SBD/January 31, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
In His Own Words: David Stern Reflects On 30-Year Tenure As NBA Commissioner
Published January 31, 2014
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PROUD PAPA: Asked about his retirement, Stern said, “Actually, it feels very good because I’m watching my colleagues who have sort of grown up on my watch. They’re all ready to go on to bigger and better things.” He added, “I am most proud that my colleagues and I understand that sports has a way of crystallizing discussions about issues.” Stern said of dilemmas faced during his tenure, “You just get up in the morning and you do what you have to do and you get ready to keep growing, almost certain that there will be some crisis, because the morning newspaper always brings something new and interesting” (“Unguarded With Rachel Nichols,” CNN, 1/24).
WORDS OF WISDOM: SI.com's Jack McCallum conducted a Q&A with Stern. Stern said of incoming Commissioner Adam Silver, "Adam will be sending me to two or three places where business might be done and where they have an appropriate amount of respect for somebody with white hair." He added, "Another friend who's also retiring said to me, 'You know, David, there will always be another mountain to climb. And you have to come to the realization that someone else will climb it.'" Asked if there was a specific "punch year" when things took off for the league, Stern said, "Maybe 1989, when we signed a new TV deal with NBC? That was the marketplace recognizing for the first time the strides we had made." Asked if at first he was involved in managing all aspects of the league, Stern said, "In the beginning, yes, I was a micromanager because it was necessary to set a standard for what this league could be. My sense was that we needed to be -- and could be -- so much better than we were, that we could raise our game off the court" (SI.com, 1/30).