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NBA Announces Former Commissioner David Stern Has Passed Away at 77

David J. Stern, Geoff Freeman
Former NBA commissioner David Stern | Denise Truscello/Getty Images

Even though David Stern never played a minute of NBA basketball, he remains one of the most influential names in the history of the sport in America. And there's sadly terrible news to pass along about the former NBA commissioner.

Stern, 77, passed away on New Year's Day, just weeks after he underwent surgery for a brain hemorrhage in December.

Stern, the fourth commissioner in the history of the NBA, was named to that position in 1984, and helped oversee record viewership and profit numbers. Perhaps his greatest achievement is the steps he took to grow the game of basketball and the NBA as a whole internationally, as even the likes of the NFL can't hold a candle to the NBA abroad.

After retiring and leaving his position to Adam Silver in 2010, Stern was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016.

Before Stern, the NBA was barely treading water as a league. After Stern, it has become the second-biggest league in American sports. Our sincerest condolences go out to Stern's family during this extremely difficult time.