David Joel Stern
was an American lawyer and businessman who was the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1984 to 2014. He started with the NBA in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as general counsel, and became the league's executive vice president in 1980. He became commissioner in 1984, succeeding Larry O'Brien. After 30 years, Stern resigned as the longest-tenured commissioner in the history of major North American sports leagues. He was a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame.