David Stern was instrumental in making the NBA so popular. He spent three decades as an NBA commissioner and the league thrived under his control. From Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant to Tim Duncan, numerous champions have become rich and powerful characters thanks to Stern's leadership. Unfortunately, David Stern passed away in January 2020, but not before leaving behind an incredible financial legacy and fortune. Becoming commissioner of the NBA represented the top of the mountain for David Stern. After all, he first entered the league in 1966 as an outside adviser. He has made his way up the corporate ladder, with stints as general counsel and executive vice president of the NBA. Finally, he took over from Larry O'Brien as the league's commissioner in 1984.
Stern took over the role and followed her. Along the way, he ran a league that made a huge leap in popularity in the 80s, thanks to superstars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. For the next decade, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls provided more than enough dish entertainment both on and offstage.
Under Stern's supervision, the NBA also flourished internationally. The 1992 Dream Team would never have existed without your blessing. He also founded the NBA draft lottery, which has produced both stars and big hits. When he retired in 2014, David Stern certainly left the game in a much higher position than when he took office.
One of the key lessons learned from David Stern's 30-year tenure as NBA commissioner is his confidence in the power of the stars. Magic and Bird wowed audiences with their unique skills and great personalities. They fueled a highly competitive rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers that is still talked about today.
The league didn't really take off until Jordan arrived, however. The Bulls clinched six titles behind the backs of Jordan and teammate Scottie Pippen in the 1990s. And when Phil Jackson took over the Lakers, another dynasty took over, thanks in large part to the titan tandem of Shaq and Kobe.
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In some ways, Stern deserves some criticism for having a select number of teams attain championship status during his tenure. However, there is no question that the NBA made electrifying television thanks to the number of recognizable stars who appeared at the helm of the NBA during Stern's three decades.
Leading thirty years in one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world proved to be a lucrative undertaking for David Stern. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he had a net worth of $ 135 million when he died on New Years Day in 2020. He reportedly made an annual salary of $ 20 million. The Manhattan native not only did banking personally, but turned the NBA into a revenue-generating machine.
When Stern came on board, the 23 NBA teams combined were worth only $ 400 million, according to Forbes. When Stern retired in 2012, Forbes valued each NBA franchise at $ 393 million. He has reportedly generated approximately $ 12 billion in value for the owners during his 30 years as an NBA commissioner. Large television deals have made the league extremely profitable and helped homeowners fill their pockets even more.
Ultimately, David Stern increased the popularity of the NBA while helping many players, coaches, and owners get rich in the process. Let's see if Adam Silver can live up to his legacy.
One group that should never complain about Stern's tenure are the longtime owners of the sport who ran a mint under Stern's supervision. The NBA was a completely different league in 1984 when David Stern took over. CBS paid $ 22 million annually for the broadcast rights to the games. Playoff games were shown on tape, and only the NBA Finals were streamed live. Average audience per game in the league was disgraceful in places like Atlanta (7,139), Chicago (6,365), Cleveland (5,075) and Washington (7,920).
Four current owners bought the league between 1981 and 1985 at prices between $ 11 million and $ 19 million. (How far along was Jerry Reinsdorf, who bought the Bulls for $ 16 million during Michael Jordan's first season in 1985 and now has more than $ 600 million in fortune?) The 23 league teams combined were worth about of $ 400 million. .
Fast forward to today. The NBA owners annually distribute $ 930 million from television contracts. The 2012 NBA Finals were broadcast in 215 countries. Average attendance for all regular season games last season was 17,273. In our last look at the NBA business, we valued the average NBA team at $ 393 million. That average is sure to top $ 400 million in our next shot, following recent sales of two underperforming franchises in the New Orleans Hornets for $ 338 million and the Memphis Grizzlies for $ 350 million. The new NBA collective bargaining agreement has made even small franchisees indispensable assets. The total value of the 30 NBA teams is now more than $ 12 billion.
Obviously, it wasn't all that Stern did to generate $ 12 billion of value for homeowners. His timing was flawless. Stern arrived four months before Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and set the NBA on fire.
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