NBA commissioner David Stern has announced his 30-year run as the league’s chief will come to an end February 1, 2014.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Stern’s decision to step down was unanimously approved Thursday by the NBA Board of Governors. The NBA Board of Governors tapped Adam Silver, Stern’s deputy, as the successor.
“Adam’s title will be the commissioner elect, but they’re still going to have me to kick around for the next 15 months,” Stern said.
Speaking of Silver (who has been the league’s No. 2 since 2006), Stern added:
“He’s a first‑rate top‑of‑the‑class executive, not just sports executive, but if you wanted to be a little bit broader, you could say media and sports executive. If you want to go broader, you could go international. If you wanted to go broader, you could do all kinds of things.”
Stern, 70, took over as commissioner in 1984 and is entering his 29th season as the top executive in the NBA, the longest current tenure among the top four professional sports organizations.
Besides overseeing the addition of seven teams to the NBA, Stern is credited with launching the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the NBA Development League, and NBA Cares, which, since its inception in 2005, has given over $205 million to charity.
SB Nation points out that Stern also greatly expanded the game internationally, as the league has opened offices in 15 global markets while broadcasting games in 215 countries.
“I like to think I did an adequate job,” Stern told reporters. “I could not be happier to know that I’m seated here, knowing I’ll be succeeded by Adam. … This gives us the opportunity to make a very, very smooth transition.”
Watch as David Stern announces his plans to retire as NBA commissioner in the video below: