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Former NBA Commissioner, David Stern dies

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: NBA Commissioner David Stern delivers the "State of the NBA" speech 21 June in New York, NY. Stern earlier announced that Hersey Hawkins of the Seattle SuperSonics won the NBA Sportsmanship Award. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/JEFF HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP)  – David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global power, has died. He was 77.

The league says Stern died Wednesday after suffering a brain hemorrhage Dec. 12.

Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before becoming commissioner in 1984. By the time he left, a league that had struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion a year industry and become perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.

Thunder chairman Clay Bennett released this statement about the death of Stern:

“Beyond his creative brilliance and forceful leadership, David was a dear friend and trusted advisor to me over the course of more than two decades. Our business relationship took us through multiple and sometimes challenging issues together as well as great triumphs. Through it all, David led with strength, fairness and a keen sense of doing what was right for our franchises, our players and our fans. He leaves an enormous legacy and we will forever benefit from his influence.
On behalf of the entire Thunder organization, we send our deepest condolences to Dianne and the Stern family.”
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