David Stern, the man who guided the NBA to the heights of its popularity and prosperity, announced today that he will retire on February 1st, 2014, 30 years to the day he started his gig as commissioner. The NBA Board of Governors voted unanimously that Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver (the other guy in that picture) would take over the job.
The now 70-year-old Stern made his decision about six months ago, feeling that the league was now in good shape after the ten-year collective bargaining agreement was signed after last year’s work stoppage that cut the season down to 66 games.
Though a mostly popular commissioner, Stern isn’t without his critics. Stern had the good fortune of starting as commish the same year that Michael Jordan came into the NBA (and at the height of the Magic/Bird rivalry) so it’s not like he single handedly revived a dying league. Still, I’d bet that most players in his tenure would have a positive view of Stern.