NBA stars of past and present pay tribute to David Stern: 'A true visionary'

A number of current and former NBA players paid tribute to David Stern. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday. He was 77.

Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage Dec. 12, and had been hospitalized ever since. In a statement, current NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Stern “a mentor and one of my dearest friends.”

Silver also paid tribute to Stern, praising Stern for his various accomplishments as the NBA’s commissioner.

“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads.  But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA.  He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world.  Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.

“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.  Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”

A number of other NBA personalities — including star players from past and present — also sent out touching messages honoring Stern’s legacy.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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