Thursday, October 25, 2012

David Stern Retires... In Two More Years

Photo edit: Payton Wales

In recent years the topic has been brought up quite a bit: "When is David Stern finally going to retire?" Some people hoped it would be soon, some still considered him the best commissioner in all of sports. Well, love him or hate him, we have ourselves an answer. David Stern will retire from his position as NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, 2014, exactly 30 years after he assumed the position in 1984. This was apparently discussed at a recent NBA Board of Governors meeting where they also decided that, as expected, Adam "Sexy" Silver would take over the position when Stern steps down.

Commissioner Stern has fallen under a decent deal of scrutiny recently with his anti-flopping policies, veto of a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers and of course, the lockout that shortened last year's NBA regular season (I, too, was one of his critics). But despite the loss of 16 games last season the league didn't lose much popularity. And when you look at the successful side of the career of Stern as commissioner, I think the popularity of the league has to be the first place you look. 

Sure, the guy assumed the head of the association in the same year that a kid named Michael Jordan started playing in it, but you can't deny Stern's contributions to the emergence of the NBA as a serious contender to the other major professional sports. Under his regime as commissioner Stern has always had a keen understanding of what his audience pined for and has usually done a great job of accommodating them. Sure, David has had to be Stern with his players every now and then throughout his decades at the helm, but when 2014 rolls around and he's no longer running the league, let's not remember him as the "dictator" that some fans have pegged him as. Let's remember Stern as the guy who put the NBA on the map in the public eye, and kept it there.

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