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David Stern, longest-serving NBA commissioner, dies at 77

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David Stern from NBA being interviewed on stag at the Hashtag Sports event on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in New York.
David Stern from NBA being interviewed on stag at the Hashtag Sports event on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in New York.   -  
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Ann-Sophie Fjello-Jensen/AP Images for Hashtag Sports - Ann-Sophie Fjello-Jensen
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David Stern, who spent 30 years as the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global power, has died on New Year's Day at the age of 77.

The league says Stern died Wednesday with his family by his side. He suffered a brain haemorrhage Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery.

Stern had been involved with the NBA for nearly two decades before he became its fourth commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. By the time he left his position in 2014, a league that had struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world's most popular sport after soccer.

Stern had a hand in nearly every initiative to do that, including drug testing, the salary cap and implementation of a dress code.

The trained lawyer helped the league become televised in more than 200 countries and territories, and in more than 40 languages.

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