With the sudden and untimely passing of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David J. Stern today, the Miami Heat organization issued statements expressing their condolences and reflecting on his mark on the game.
“The loss of David J. Stern is not just a loss for the NBA, the game of basketball and the world of sports, but rather a loss for the global community. The growth of the NBA and the global game of basketball under David’s leadership provided a platform for the League to profoundly impact the lives of so many in our communities and around the world. David did not just change the game of basketball today, but his trailblazing leadership will be felt by generations to come. David’s passing is very painful because of the profound impact he had on all of us. We offer our condolences to Dianne, their children and the Stern family and our thanks for sharing him with our NBA Family. The Miami HEAT became a franchise when the NBA expanded under the leadership of Commissioner Stern. There is no Miami HEAT without David J. Stern. For that, we simply say, ‘Thank You David.’”
HEAT Managing General Partner Micky Arison:
“Under David’s stewardship, the NBA and the game of basketball has grown into an international sport. The players, coaches and franchises have become international brands and global phenomenons. I spent a lot of time on committees with David and always marveled at his ability to negotiate and his ability to represent the best interest of the League in any negotiation. He ultimately always represented the love of the game and people who were part of the NBA, including the teams, players, coaches, staff and fans. On a personal level, his help in bringing the Miami HEAT into existence, our family into the NBA and the guidance he has given me over 25 years is something we will always cherish. Some of the interactions were challenging, but most were wonderful. None more special than receiving three championship trophies from David, including the last one he gave as commissioner. On behalf of our family and the HEAT, I offer our condolences to Dianne, their children and the Stern family.”
HEAT President Pat Riley:
“David Stern was the best professional sports commissioner ever. What David did for the game of basketball was unparalleled. Everyone involved in the game during his tenure benefitted in a massive way. I personally was one of them. The Miami HEAT mourn with great empathy for Dianne and the Stern family. Today is a very sad day in the NBA.”
We at Hot Hot Hoops also express our deepest condolences to the Stern family and the larger NBA and basketball family after the loss of such an important figure in the sport.