Michael Jordan admits he ‘wouldn’t be here’ without David Stern
Even the greatest basketball player in history, Michael Jordan, knows he wouldn’t be in the position he is today without the help and guidance of former NBA Commissioner David Stern.
“I wouldn’t be here without David Stern. Adam can say the same thing. He meant that much to the game. His vision was something that we took great pride in learning from him. I learned a lot from him, not just as a basketball player. But then obviously running a business and he had a lot to do with that. I don’t have enough time to pay that much thanks — that I can pay that man. He did a lot for the game of basketball.”
David Stern, who holds the distinction as the longest-tenured commissioner of major North American sports leagues, passed away on January 1 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 77.
Stern first assumed the position on February 1, 1984, at a time when the league was still recovering from its darkest periods. Through hard work and sheer determination, Stern transformed the NBA into a global brand up until he stepped down from the position in 2014 after 30 years.
Michael Jordan, meanwhile, was drafted in the same year Stern assumed the role of commissioner. He was the third player to shake Stern’s hand during the draft, when he was picked third overall by the Chicago Bulls after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie.
The pair developed a good relationship during Jordan’s playing days, which carried over upon his Airness’ retirement and eventual transition to an NBA ownership role.