David Stern --- The Commissioner of the NBA
David Stern is the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984 succeeding Larry O'Brien. He is credited with increasing the popularity of the NBA in the 1990s and 2000s. (NBA, 2013)
In the early 1980s, compare to NFL, MLB and other popular sports associations in North America, NBA was a long-term less attractive game. When Stern took over, he understand the “best-selling” of the league is the star player, so he spared no effort to promote 80s “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. After Michael Jordan started his career and became a super star in the late 80s, Stern began to push the globalization of the NBA. Now in the four major North American professional sports leagues, NBA might not have the largest number of fans, however, it is the most commercialized and the most globalized league. NBA players are now the world’s best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player (Harris, 2012).
Ten major contributions of David Stern
1. The Star effect
Because of “Magic” Johnson, Larry “Bird” and “Air” Jordan, the NBA has reached an unprecedented boom. That is undeniable that David Stern has maximized the “star effect”.
2. The Globalization
In 1992, with Stern’s effort, the NBA’s professional player started to participate in the Olympics. The “Dream Team” has attracted the world’s attention (FIBA, 2012). And now, the international players have become an important force in the NBA. And the league is televised in 215 countries around the world in 43 languages (NBA, 2013).
3. The Salary Cap
The salary cap was first enacted in 1983 by Stern while he was the vice president at which time (wikipedia, 2013). As the effect of the police, the franchise owners were able to be relieved of financial...