David Stern has 15 months left in his tenure as NBA commissioner. The Hook considers what he still has left to do before walking away, and what his successor Adam Silver will face in his first months on the job.
It's now official: David Stern will be stepping down as NBA commissioner on February 1, 2014. Glen Taylor, the outgoing chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, officially made the announcement to media members in a press conference.
"Commissioner Stern has informed the board that he is stepping down as commissioner. The date selected was Feb. 1, 2014," Taylor announced.
When asked why then, Stern simply said it was "an interesting time." But as it turns out, he was hired exactly 30 years prior to that date, so it's not a coincidence. Stern will continue as the commissioner until that day, at which point, current deputy commissioner Adam Silver will take over. A vote to make Silver the commissioner-elect of the league will take place this April.
"I told [the owners] that it's been a great run," Stern said. ... "The league is in, I think, terrific condition."
Stern will still be available to help out as a "partner" with several long-range projects, including the league's efforts to expand the game internationally, Taylor said. When asked what projects, Stern simply said that he'll be "on call" in "whatever way I can."
Stern will depart as the longest-tenured commissioner in professional sports. He said he conceived of this plan six months ago, and when asked why he didn't step down sooner, he said he wanted to shepherd the league through the previous lockout before leaving.
"I don't think there's a doubt that [Stern will] be remembered as the best of all time," Silver said.
But what hasn't changed is the NBA's succession plan: Stern lieutenant Adam Silver is the overwhelming favorite to be elevated to commissioner once Stern leaves.
League suits say there probably won't even be a search conducted to find a successor and that deputy commissioner Adam Silver is a lock to succeed Stern, with one source saying Stern's lieutenant has the backing of almost 90% of the owners. All he needs is a simple majority.
Stern has been the NBA's commissioner since 1984. Silver, who became the NBA's deputy commissioner and chief operating officer in 2006, has been with the league since the 1990s.