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NBA Commissioner Stern to retire in 2014

10/25/2012 2:48 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Thursday that he will retire as basketball’s boss on February 1, 2014, and the NBA Board of Governors has unanimously voted to elect Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver as his replacement.

In a press conference officially announcing the change, Stern said that he came to the retirement decision about six months ago, shortly after guiding the league through the work stoppage that truncated the 2011-12 NBA schedule to 66 games.

That said, Stern told the media he believes the league is in “great shape,” and will continue to grow under Silver – who began considering as a successor the day Silver was named his top lieutenant in 2006.

"What we have achieved together and will continue to achieve is extraordinary – and we will have 15 months to talk about it,” Stern said.

According to reports, Stern also sent an email to key NBA executives to announce the change, praising Silver for what he has done for the league in his two decades with the NBA.

"The Board has selected Adam Silver to succeed me as NBA Commissioner, and I am very pleased with their choice," Stern said in the email. "As you know, Adam is a world-class business executive who has influenced so many areas of our business during his 20-year tenure with the league, from television, to digital, to international, to merchandising, to sponsorships, to team business, to, of course, labor negotiations. I know that the organization will be in very good hands when Adam becomes Commissioner.”

The Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors, Peter Holt, echoed those thoughts, saying that the approval of Silver as Stern’s successor was a “no-brainer.”

Now 70 years old, Stern began working with the NBA as an outside counsel in 1966 and took over as Commissioner on February 1, 1984, meaning he will step down exactly 30 years after taking the job.

That makes him the league’s longest-serving Commissioner, and during the press conference, Silver told Stern that he will “be remembered as the best of all-time.”

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