Dear Commissioner Stern,
Your passing away on the first day of the year of 2020 has brought great sadness not only the the NBA community, it’s fans and players. But one of the reasons why I love the sport so much is because of a man that I have watched from a far. Even though I have been to many of NBA games and events in my lifetime, one of my goals was to meet Commissioner David Stern.
Why? If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have the league that we are watching right now. We wouldn’t have the free agency madness every July 1st if he didn’t help in negotiations to allow for player movement. He got the league through 4 lockouts, increased the television contract from $10 million per season to $900 million per season and he helped to create “The Dream Team”.
Even though he nixed the Chris Paul to Los Angeles trade in the best interest of the league and allowed my beloved Charlotte Hornets to movet to New Orleans.
You gave me so many more memories that will fill my basketball memories for myself and my daughter. He helped to create the WNBA, which allowed women to pursue their dreams of playing professional basketball in the United States. My daughter dreams of one day putting on a WNBA jersey and winning a championship trophy.
Your work has made this a global game, has allowed the game to grow and has given the league some of it’s best talent throughout the years that were not born in the United States.
For myself, you have made the game so accessible. Even though was not able to make it as a player, through your watch over the league allowed me to watch hundreds of thousands of games from my living room, playing it the multiple game consoles that I have owned and being able to own clothing that my heroes wore. You were apart of my Sunday memories as a child watching the NBA on CBS and NBC, you made me look forward to Friday night games on TNT and you helped to make my favorite T.V station (ESPN) join the fun as I got older.
From your work before the days of my birth through your final days on this earth, Commissioner David Stern you have helped to mold a game that has had my heart since the beginning. So even without having the chance to say this face to face, I’m saying it through this article.
Thank You Commissioner Stern for everything you have ever done for this sport that I love.