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Renowned NBA Commissioner David Stern Dies at 77, Tributes Pour in: ‘He Changed So Many Lives’

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The basketball world mourned the loss of former NBA commissioner David Stern, who died Wednesday after suffering a brain hemorrhage several weeks ago.

Stern was widely regarded as a transformative figure in pro basketball and one of the most powerful executives in the history of sports. He took over as the NBA’s chief executive in 1984. And during his 30-year tenure, Stern helped bring about dramatic growth — including the addition of seven new teams.

“Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation,” said current NBA commissioner and Stern protege Adam Silver, in a statement.

Basketball greats took to social media to pay tribute.

“Thank you for your commitment to the beautiful game of basketball that has changed so many young adult/kids lives and more importantly your vision to make our game become WORLDWIDE was a vision only you could make happen!” LeBron James wrote on Instagram. “You did just that. Making our game the greatest sport in the world! Was a honor to know you personally.”

Other NBA legends paid their respects on Twitter:

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo