SAN ANTONIO – Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke Thursday about the death of former NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Stern died on Wednesday after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 77.
“Obviously this is a sad time for the NBA, especially for the family of David Stern. We share their grief,” said Popovich.
Stern is considered to be one of the best commissioners in all professional sports. He led the NBA into global and unprecedented success during his 30 years on the job.
#Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke today at practice about David Stern: “This is a sad time for the #NBA...what he was, was a force of nature”...SA won 4 titles under Sterns tenure as commissioner. (📹@markmendez) #KSATsports #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/VaSiAb74r2— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) January 2, 2020
“What he was, was a force of nature. An amazing business man, leader, manager,” said Popovich. ”A man who took over back in the mid 80s as commissioner at a difficult time and was the visionary and the catalyst that made it what it is today.”
The Spurs won four championships during Stern’s tenure.
Stern had several influential moments with the Spurs that included suspensions during a memorable Suns playoffs series in 2007 and fines levied to Popovich and the Spurs for sitting out key players for a nationally televised game.
Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery.
The league announced that he died with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.
“He started it all. He made the NBA a global brand. He nurtured it. He worked very hard with discipline and with courage to establish what we have today,” said Popovich. “We all owe him a lot.”