MEXICO CITY – News that former NBA commissioner David Stern had suffered a brain hemorrhage on Thursday afternoon sent shock waves through the Mavericks’ hierarchy.
Proprietor Mark Cuban, who butted heads with the commissioner often during the early year’s of Cuban’s proprietorship, was visibly shaken by the news.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “We’re pulling for David. He’s incredible. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how I feel about him and what he means to me. All of which have nothing to do with basketball. He’s just a good guy.
“He was incredible to me. Even when he was yelling at me.”
Coach Rick Carlisle started his postgame news conference with a statement that reflected the overwhelming respect and admiration that the NBA brotherhood has for Stern, who retired as commissioner in 2014 after 30 years.
“The thoughts and prayers of the Mavericks organization go out to commissioner Stern, who is in serious condition right now,” Carlisle said. “I was with him a month ago. We had a couple days between our game in Boston and our game in New York. And I sat with him in his office in New York.
“I consider him a great friend and he’s obviously a great friend of the game. And our thoughts and prayers go out to him, his wife Diane and their family and we hope that he can come out of this.”
Stern was an attorney and general counsel for the NBA before being named commissioner in 1994. During his 30-year run, the league experienced some of its most incredible growth globally.
Commissioner Adam Silver, who took over for Stern in 2014, was at the Mavericks’ game against Detroit Thursday in Mexico City, but did not address Stern’s situation. The league, however, did put out a statement, which read in part that he underwent surgery earlier Thursday for the brain hemorrahage.
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