As David Stern steps down as NBA Commissioner on Feb.1, NBA TV will feature a one-on-one interview – David Stern: 30 Years – conducted by Sports Emmy Award-winning host Ernie Johnson on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. ET. An excerpt of the interview will debut during TNT’s Inside the NBA on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Stern, who steps down on the 30th anniversary of being appointed NBA Commissioner, looks back at his three decades with the league and its many accomplishments during his tenure. Additionally, some of the league’s biggest stars and principal figures – including Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Jerry West – reflect on their thoughts and memories of Stern and his impact on the NBA and overall contributions to the sports industry.
Stern on what he’s been most proud of: “I’m proudest of the diversity this league has demonstrated. Our coaching, our assistant coaching, our management, our league office, our teams…there’s a level of diversity that makes our sport…our business enterprise the most diverse in America.”
Stern on whether the global game is his crowning achievement: “You know, there’s a monster list of everything that is now the NBA. And each in their own time were new and innovative… And we were crazy enough to say, ‘Ok, we figured this out. Now let’s do it around the world.’”
Charles Barkley on Stern’s legacy: “David Stern to me is the greatest commissioner in sports history.”
Kobe Bryant on Stern’s impact in spreading the game: “The sport is truly a global game. You have so many international players and that comes directly from his vision.”
LeBron James on Stern’s global vision for the NBA: “That was all because of David Stern. And I’m able to inspire the youth all across the world because of what David Stern envisioned.”
Michael Jordan on what Stern has meant to him: “A true gentleman to me, and a true role model, and a true inspiration.”
Bill Russell on Stern and growing the NBA: “He took the league – working with the elements he had to work with – and really made it major league.”
Jerry West on Stern having a vision: “David had a vision of what he thought this league could be and should be.”