Buhos ngayon ang mga pakikiramay ng mga basketball officials at players sa pagpanaw ni dating NBA commissioner David Stern sa edad na 77-anyos.

Si Stern ay tatlong linggong nanatili sa ospital matapos dumanas ng brain hemmorhage at sumailalim pa sa emergency brain surgery.

Sa pahayag ng kasalukuyang NBA commissioner na si Adam Silver, binigyang-pugay nito si Stern na isa sa mga “greatest sports commissioners of all time” dahil sa mga repormang ipinatupad nito sa NBA sa kanyang 30-taong panunungkulan.

“He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world,” pahayag ni Silver. “Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”

Inalala rin ni Silver si Stern bilang kanyang mentor at isa sa kanyang mga matalik na kaibigan.

“He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work,” ani Silver.

Itinuturing ng maraming mga eksperto si Stern na siyang nagpaunlad ng modernong NBA at nagpakilala rin nito sa iba pang dako ng mundo.

Si Stern ay una nang nailuklok sa Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame noong taong 2014, at sa International Basketball Hall of Fame noong 2016.