Former NBA commissioner David Stern remains in serious condition several days after undergoing emergency surgery after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage, the league announced on Tuesday. Stern suffered the hemorrhage at a restaurant in New York on Thursday, and he was immediately rushed into surgery. Stern, 77, was reportedly eating at a restaurant in Manhattan when he collapsed.
The following statement was released by the NBA:
NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern remains in serious condition following emergency surgery to address a sudden brain hemorrhage on Thursday. He is receiving great care and surrounded by his loved ones. The Stern family and everyone at the NBA appreciate the incredible outpouring of support. Our thoughts and prayers remain with David and his family.
Stern spent nearly five decades associated with the NBA and served as the commissioner of the league for 30 years before retiring in 2014. Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver was Stern's protege, serving as deputy commissioner from 2006 until 2014 when he succeeded Stern.
Stern's impact on the growth of the NBA has been well chronicled. During his tenure, the league added seven new franchises -- the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies, and again a team was brought back to Charlotte (the Bobcats) when the Hornets left for New Orleans.
But the NBA's global explosion will forever be Stern's greatest legacy. By scheduling games outside of the United States and ushering professional players back into the Olympics with the 1992 Dream Team, Stern was more responsible than anyone for turning the NBA into the worldwide product and cash machine it is today.
Consider that when Stern took over as commissioner in February of 1984, the salary cap -- which he had a hand in creating -- was less than $4 million. In 2014 when Stern stepped down, the cap had increased to more than $63 million, and the television product he had created was on its way to fetching an unprecedented $24 billion contract prior to the 2016-17 season. As such, the salary cap has since grown to $109 million.
Per ESPN: "The league's annual revenue from its television contract increased 40 times, the average player salary jumped from $250,000 a year in 1984 to more than $5 million, and the value of franchises skyrocketed."
In 1984, Stern inherited a league that was rife with drug and image issues. A handful of franchises were borderline failing. But he had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and he had the foresight to market the league around them and the Lakers-Celtics rivalry. He also fell into a young Michael Jordan, who was drafted just a few months after Stern took over as commissioner.
Looking back, it's easy to see how the NBA took off with those players leading the charge. But somebody had to see it ahead of time, and Stern did. He is a true visionary with few equals in terms of taking a seed of opportunity and growing into a worldwide entertainment phenomenon. Stern also founded the WNBA in 1997, and he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2014.
CBS Sports will continue to update this breaking news story as necessary.