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Volume 26 No. 209
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David Stern Tributes: Commish Left Indelible Mark On Successor Silver

Tributes have continued to pour in across sports for DAVID STERN following his death this week, with Celtics Managing Partner & CEO WYC GROUSBECK saying that Stern always showed "persistent, passionate support" of ADAM SILVER when it came to identifying his eventual successor. Grousbeck: "The warmth of his feelings toward Adam were so apparent. The warmth with which he could promote someone else instead of saying, ‘Good luck trying to fill my shoes’ was apparent. David had a generosity of spirit" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3). Lakers Controlling Owner & CEO JEANIE BUSS said of Stern's support for MAGIC JOHNSON after his HIV diagnosis, "He stood up when everybody else didn’t know what to do. We were all scared, concerned and uninformed because it was all happening in real time. But he didn’t flinch. He stood up and allowed Magic to come back into the league. He squashed the fears of spreading the virus through hugging and shaking hands." More Buss: "He really was very clear in what he believed in. It was always for a purpose, and not because he had power. He did things for the right reasons" (USA TODAY, 1/3).

RIGHT MAN, RIGHT TIME: Longtime NBA exec ROD THORN: "People who do great things are people who get others to go along with what they feel. ... David was amazing at getting people to do what he felt should be done" (ESPN.com, 1/2). Clippers Senior Advisor JERRY WEST characterized Stern's NBA tenure as "leadership, in a time of need." West: "The drugs, the declining attendance, every bit of turmoil that this league has had was under his leadership ... He handled that so beautifully, I can’t tell you. He was strong-willed, and his leadership through those times got this league back up and running at the highest level that we had ever seen it" (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/2). Rockets CEO TAD BROWN said, "I don’t think there’s ever been a commissioner in professional sports that’s had that kind of impact and had been that kind of change agent for the growth of the sport" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/3).

LEAGUE-WIDE RESPECT: Mavericks coach RICK CARLISLE: "The things he did for the NBA game were of staggering significance" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/3). In San Antonio, Tom Orsborn notes the Spurs on Thursday night honored Stern before their game against the Thunder "with a video tribute and a moment of silence." Spurs coach GREGG POPOVICH: "A force of nature, an amazing businessman, leader, manager, a man who took over in the mid-’80s as commissioner at a difficult time and was the visionary and the catalyst that made it was it is today. It’s why we are all here and doing well. He started it all." Spurs F RUDY GAY: "He made us players marketable. He signed some of the biggest deals in this sport’s history. He made basketball the global phenomenon it is today. We owe him a lot for that” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/3). Celtics C ENES KANTER: "He made the NBA global. He gave so much to the whole league." Celtics F JAYLEN BROWN: "I’m not sure if my generation (is) aware of what David Stern, how he kind of transitioned the league to where it’s at now" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/3).