NBA Legends Pay Tribute To Late Commissioner David Stern

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

William Davis Contributor
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NBA stars of past and present paid tribute to former NBA commissioner David Stern, praising him for his decades of leadership.

Stern passed away Wednesday at the age of 77 after being hospitalized at the end of last year with a brain hemorrhage. (RELATED: Legendary Radio Host Don Imus Dies At 79)

Former Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat head coach Pat Riley called Stern “the best professional sports commissioner ever.”

Lakers legend Magic Johnson praised Stern for how he helped Johnson after the superstar contracted HIV.

“David Stern was such a history maker,” Johnson said. “When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand. When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.”

Current Lakers’ superstar LeBron James said that Stern deserves to have “something named after him. ”

“Either if it’s an award, or, I don’t know, a day? During the course of an NBA season, there’s a ‘David Stern Day.’ I don’t know. We can figure it out,” James said.

Meanwhile, current NBA commissioner Adam Silver also paid tribute to his former boss calling him his “mentor” and one of his closest friends.

“He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends,” Silver said in a statement released by the league. “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.”

David Stern was a sports legend. May he rest in peace.