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!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • 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.