Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at age 77

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK (WILX) -- A former National Basketball Association commissioner has died at the age of 77.

David Joel Stern served as the fourth commissioner of the NBA.

He died Wednesday afternoon after suffering a brain hemorrhage roughly three weeks ago.

His wife, Dianne and family were with him at his bedside when he died, according to a statement from the NBA.

Stern underwent emergency surgery after the brain hemorrhage.

He served exactly 30 years as the NBA’s longest-tenured commissioner before Adam Silver replaced him on Feb. 1, 2014. He has remained affiliated with the league with the title of commissioner emeritus.

Silver released a statement regarding Sterns death:

"For 22 years, I had a court-side seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals--preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.

"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 every whose life was touched by him."

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