Longtime NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday afternoon a few weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 77.
Stern served exactly 30 years as commissioner before passing the job to Adam Silver in 2014. Stern held the title of commissioner emeritus until his death.
PHOTOS: David Stern through the years
"Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David's vision, generosity and inspiration," Adam Silver said in statement released by the league. "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."
Several current and former NBA players reacted to the news Wednesday, including Hornets owner and six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan.
Here is Jordan's full statement via his manager:
Without David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today. He guided the league through turbulent times and grew the league into an international phenomenon, creating opportunities that few could have imagined before. His vision and leadership provided me with the global stage that allowed me to succeed. David had a deep love for the game of basketball and demanded excellence from those around him — and I admired him for that. I wouldn't be where I am without him. I offer my deepest sympathies to Dianne and his family.
Hall of Famers like Bill Russell, Shaquille O'Neal and Scottie Pippen also offered their condolences.
I can not put into words what the friendship of David Stern has meant to me but many others. He changed so many lives. David was a great innovator and made the game we love what it is today. This is a horrible loss. Our hearts are with Dianne & their family. RIP my friend. @NBA pic.twitter.com/mbnneqm18s— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 1, 2020
RIP Mr David Stern— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 1, 2020
The best commissioner to ever do it. pic.twitter.com/SgO0hMX3Ia
Very sad day for basketball. We saw David Stern a lot in the 90s and I found him to be kind, thoughtful and almost always the smartest person in the room. He was an innovator who helped grow our sport into a global game and his impact will never be forgotten. RIP, Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/FzlJwnJmrK— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) January 1, 2020
The NBA owes David Stern a debt of gratitude. His courage, innovation intelligence, tenacity & his ability to manage our league that has become a global success. He charted a path for modern-day basketball. We all benefited from his vision and strong beliefs. #ripdavidstern— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) January 1, 2020
RIP David Stern ! Shaking your hand on June, 26, 2003 was a dream come true ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZCT7naJPcU— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 1, 2020
Sad news. We lost a legend! RIP David Stern— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 1, 2020
Thank you David Stern! You changed everything and we’re eternally grateful. Rest In Peace. Lots of love to the Stern family.— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) January 1, 2020
Will never forget the words you spoke this day! "With the 7th pick" changed my life forever. Thank you and your family for your leadership and commitment to growing the game of basketball around the World. Forever grateful. RIP Commisoner Stern! pic.twitter.com/o7S4IT54NQ— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 1, 2020
The game lost a leader today. Extending my prayers to David’s family and loved ones in this time of grief pic.twitter.com/TgNKlyAKZi— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 1, 2020
RIP Commissioner Stern Thank you for everything you did for the game. Shaking your hand in 2003 will always be one of my most cherished memories. Sending my love and prayers to the Stern family during this time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8cjos50OHP— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) January 1, 2020
Th NBA and my family would not be in our position if wasn’t for one of the greatest Commissioners in professional sports. RIP David Stern. The game thanks you and will miss you.— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) January 1, 2020
Prayers up for David Stern and his family!!— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 1, 2020
RIP Commissioner Stern, very sad to hear the news. You did great things for the game of basketball. Someone I always admired. #NBAFamily— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) January 1, 2020