In 1984, David Stern became the NBA’s fourth commissioner. At the time, low ratings, bad drug habits and a hoard of other issues plagued the fledgling league. However, Stern saw something in the players, stuck with his vision and turned the NBA into the global wonder we know today. No event outside of the NBA Finals was more important to Stern than the NBA All Star Weekend.
It was his time to showcase the league’s best, pay tribute to those who paved the way and let his younger talent stake their claim in the festivities. For an entire weekend, the world would marvel at the shooters such as Larry Bird and Reggie Miller, the thunderous dunkers like Dominique Wilkins and Vince Carter, to the games’ ambassadors like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Stern officially retired from the league on February 1 this year, 30 years to the day of when he took over for former commissioner Larry O’Brien. While new commissioner Adam Silver has the keys to the company now, Stern left an imprint that will forever impact the league. Here’s some of his best and worst moves during his favorite weekend of the year.
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