NBA Commissioner David Stern sets timetable for retirement
"It's been a great run. The league is in, I think, terrific condition," said David Stern. "I'd like to think I did an adequate job.”
During David Stern’s tenure, the NBA endured six franchise relocation, several trade vetoes, six franchise relocations, a betting scandal involving the referees, and the appointment of a players’ dress code. David Stern was thought to wield the most power in the league but he’s been gradually stepping back over the past six-years to facilitate his retirement and allow deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver a chance to learn the business and carryout his legacy. Adam Silver’s grooming included a tricky collective bargain agreement with the National Basketball Player’s Association in the 2011-2012 season that ended a lockout which consumed 16 games last season.
In fact, David Stern hinted at his retirement during the time when the collective bargain agreement was being finalized. David Stern stated that the following six years of labor peace will most likely out last his tenure as the NBA Commissioner.
David Stern took steps to ensure a smooth departure and transition of power to Adam Silver nearly six months ago when he informed the NBA’s Board of Governors during a meeting about his retirement plans all in two years to come. The 50-year-old Adam Silver has appeared as an ideal candidate to take over David Stern’s position given his broad spectrum experience across the NBA, during a 20 years period.
“One of the things I did best was provide a successor,” claimed David Stern. “I'm not going anyplace in the next 15 months, but this gives us the opportunity to have a very smooth transition."
Guaranteeing Adam Silver’s right to the job will ensure stability across the NBA during following David Stern’s retirement. The owners said they will engage in negotiations with Adam Silver about taking over David Stern’s job when that 15 month period comes to an end. They hope to have Adam Silver’s appointment approved at the Board of Governors’ meeting falling in next April.
"The opportunities for this league are limitless. I'm honored, thrilled and will do my absolute best to grow this league,” claimed Adam Silver, “or try to do it the way David has done over the last 20 years.”
Whether it was to the credit of David Stern’s ruthless negotiating tactics and policy making or just sheer timing, the NBA prospered and progressed during his tenure as was never witnessed before. The NBA’s revenue from television broadcast increased 40 folds and average players salary were bumped from an annual $250,000 in 1984 to $5 million till this season. David Stern number of teams in the NBA from 23 to 30; and the collective worth of the teams which was estimated around $400 million in 1985 jumped to $930 million.
David Stern oversaw the relocation of franchises into small markets (such as Oklahoma City and Sacramento), as well as the establishment of the WNBA. He even tried to curb the rising doping trend in the 80’s by implementing stringent drug testing procedures. The 70-year-old David Stern is also associated further global exposure of the NBA by allowing its players to participate in the Olympics.