Commissioner Stern To Exit In 2014; Silver The Choice To Take Over

NEW YORK – NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that he plans to step down on Feb. 1, 2014, on what would be the 30th anniversary of the date he assumed the league’s top executive position.

Stern’s exit strategy and the announcement of deputy commissioner Adam Silver as his likely successor was the surprise news from the two-day Board of Governors meetings in Manhattan. Stern, 70, had announced last winter that the current collective bargaining agreement with the players would be his last. But that deal runs at least until 2016. This puts Stern’s departure less than 15 months away.

“It’s been a great run,” Stern said at a news conference. “It will continue another 15 months. The league is in, I think, terrific condition.

“Even at this board meeting, we reviewed finances. We approved new ownership for Memphis [the Grizzles’ sale to investor Robert Pera’s group]. I like to think I did an adequate job, but one of the things I did best was to provide a successor who would be able to take the kind of things we look at as growth opportunities … to take us even to the next level.”

Silver, 50, has been an NBA executive for 20 years and deputy commissioner since July 2006. After a few weeks of negotiations, the Board of Governors is expected to hold a vote in April that will result in Silver becoming just the fifth commissioner in league history, succeeding Maurice Podoloff (1947-63), J. Walter Kennedy (1963-75), Larry O’Brien (1975-84) and Stern.

Thirty years is a nice round number, during which the NBA has experienced exponential growth in revenues and global popularity. Stern has led the league through both its highest highs — from the era of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan to stars of the current millennium such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and others – and some of its lowest lows, including a referee gambling scandal and two rancorous labor lockouts (1998, 2011) that cost the league and fans both games and revenue.

Was 30 anything other than a round number as Stern made his decision to exit? “I thought one year for each of the 30 teams,” he said, joking.

Now “commissioner-elect,” Silver said to Stern, seated next to him during the news conference: “I think there’s no doubt you’ll be remembered as the best [commissioner] of all time. You set the standard, not just for the sports industry but I think all CEOs.”

Stern called Silver a “world-class executive” and said, while he had him in mind as his likely successor for years, he “could not be happier” that the Board of Governors approved Silver unanimously.

Still, both Minnesota owner Glen Taylor, who is stepping down as chairman of the Board of Governors, and San Antonio’s Peter Holt, who takes over that role, said the owners would continue to lean on Stern. Not just during the transition but beyond.

Stern, however, mentioned Naples, Fla., or may have some other destination in mind from which he could provide his assistance after February 2014. His health, he said, is good.

“I feel great,” Stern said. “I’m stepping down. I’m not retiring. I will enjoy watching it. Not in any official [capacity]. Comfortably away someplace else. On call to help.”


  1. NBA veteran says:

    Derek Fisher should get the job

  2. staff2cj says:

    The nba needs to put rules in place to hold referees accountable. They will earn my respect when the game is honestly officiated

  3. whooooooooo!!!!! LET US CELEBRATE!!!

  4. Game Time says:

    All these idiots don’t know jack about basketball an are just trolling. Stern is/was a good commissioner. Times have changed and nothing is going to run as smoothly now as it did then. The next guy will face (more) problems and they will pick up hating him where they left off with Stern. Smh

  5. ThatNBAGuy says:

    I kind of want and NBA Player to take his place. Derek Fisher sounds perfect for the job.

  6. Histrory says:

    Good run David. You guys do know he was the one said the NBA would work, even with African Americans, during the greater racial period? He’s done a lot a great, and some bad, for league but he isn’t perfect, he is a normal (richer) human being like us.

  7. NBAIQ says:

    David Stern had a good run, yes he had his ups and downs but within the last few years, he’s made some good strides in helping the league not only survive but prosper. Helping all franchises increase profits, adding instant replay, adding more technical calls for cry babies and now the new non-flopping rule will serve the league well into the future. Hopefully Silver can come in and add on top of these last few years and if he can, I believe the NBA can increase it’s fan base by legitimizing itself as a professional league.

  8. Novato Rob says:

    Seattle rejoices! Too bad he didn’t step down before he helped Howard Shultz and Clay Bennet screw over the loyal fans in the Emerald City.

  9. Melo says:

    Yeah cause the heat won like 20 championships in that 30 year Stern run !! U celtic fans are the most pathetic and petty bunch of nobody’s i have ever heard. Quit ur whining and crying like little girls over everything and try making a championship team. I actually like the celtics, always have … they are a fine team but the fans …. brainless. When the celtics lose to LA its rigged. They lose to the heat … again rigged. What a bout when the celtics win ? Good luck when the Truth and KG retire. I will congratulate u in advance for the coming 0.400 seasons.

  10. lol says:


  11. Phil says:


  12. Mel_Fox_76 says:

    Come on guys!
    The NBA’s commissioner is a tough job. Of course, a big part of the NBA’s success refers to the ballers. No doubt. But organizing a whole professional sports league is not a job everybody can do that well.
    I advise to give respect to someone that did a great job to Basketball all over the world. I have never been more interested to Basketball than in the past 9 years.
    We’ll c, if the next commissioner will do the job better or not…

    • Mytownla says:

      Ofcourse there has to be that ONE person who runs to Stern’s safety smh i kno…. Is this really you David, acting like an anonymous fan, trying to make yourself look good, youve been caught Mr. Wrinkles lol

  13. celtic533 says:


  14. heatfan says:

    So emperor palpatine is finally stepping down.

  15. Shakk says:

    This will be the best thing to happen to the NBA the last 30 years!

  16. spelkey55 says:

    I hope his replacement does a better job at making the NSA an honest game. More use of the instant replay is called for to insure the games are properly officiated.

  17. Amused says:

    ’bout effing TIME we got this particular announcement!!!! Best news NBA fans have heard in years…