Sports

David Stern

When David Stern was named commissioner of the NBA in 1984, television ratings were so low that playoff games were shown on tape delay. By 2012, Game 7 of the NBA Finals, which were part of a television deal worth $1 billion, drew more than 26 million viewers in the United States.

During his 30 years as commissioner, overseeing the eras of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James, Stern, 71, has revolutionized the league. In addition to founding the Women’s National Basketball Association in 1996, he has vastly increased the NBA’s worldwide appeal. In 2012, the finals were broadcast in 215 countries, and the 2013-14 season opened with a record 92 international players, including players from Israel, the Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

Breadth of support gave the league the resilience to survive labor stoppages. After the most recent lockout, in 2011, television ratings actually jumped when play resumed.

Stern made philanthropy key to the NBA’s outreach. He served on various boards himself, but also embraced the personal causes of his players, supporting Magic Johnson during his battle with HIV.

Stern was born in New York and spent his formative years in Teaneck, N.J. Growing up, he worked in the New York delicatessen his father owned on West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, Stern’s Deli. When Stern steps down on February 1, 2014, the former deli counter worker will leave a league that has become a global empire.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.