David Stern will be enshrined Friday in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, part of a 2014 class that includes former players Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond, along with NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams.
Stern ended his run as commissioner after exactly 30 years on Feb. 1 - he won't say retired, because he's still working - and once thought he would wait five years for induction, same as players. Officials from the NBA and Hall of Fame persuaded him otherwise, and nobody is arguing that he belongs immediately.
— Associated Press (L) NBA Commissioner David Stern greets (R) LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat as the Miami Heat are given their 2012 NBA Championship rings at a ceremony prior to the game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on October 30, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Yao Ming and NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media about the New Yao School during the 2013 Global Games on October 15, 2013 at the MasterCard Center in Beijing, China. In this photo provided by CBS, outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, prepares to shake hands with host David Letterman on the set of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 in New York. Stern read the show’s Top Ten List. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO ARCHIVE; NO SALES; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY NBA Player's Association Executive Director Billy Hunter, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver speak to members of the press to announce a tentative labor agreement between the NBA and Players Representatives on November 26, 2011 in New York City. NBA commissioner David Stern congratulates Akeem Olajuwon after being drafted first overall by the Houston Rockets during the 1984 NBA Draft. NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media on updates of the Labor Relations Meetings on October 10, 2011 at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York City. Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls poses with NBA Commissioner David Stern after winning the 1996 MVP trophy on May 20, 1996 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NBA Commissioner David Stern and the participants poses for a photo during the NBA Cares Special Olympics Clinic as part of the 2013 Global Games on October 17, 2013 at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China. NBA Commissioner David Stern presents Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls the trophy after winning Game Five of the 1991 NBA Finals on June 12, 1991 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. NBA Commissioner David Stern received the key to the city from former NBA player and now Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson (not pictured) during an NBA gam between the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena on October 30, 2013 in Sacramento, California. NBA Commissioner David Stern (R) speaks with the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (L) before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Alba Berlin during NBA Europe Live 2012 at the 02 World Arena on October 6, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. NBA Commissioner David Stern announces The Cleveland Cavaliers taking Duke Guard Kyrie Irving with the number one pick in the 2011 NBA Draft at The Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. NBA fans have long given credit to David Stern for establishing pro sports’ first comprehensive drug punishment plan, but in reality former commissioner Lawrence O’Brien was in office when the policies were negotiated and agreed upon in 1983. Stern was the driving lead counsel during collective bargaining agreement talks, though, working with lead player representative Bob Lanier in hashing out a policy that would be emulated by other sports leagues soon after. Punishing those with addiction issues is sometimes cruel, but the quality of play skyrocketed. – Kelly Dwyer FILE - In this June 18, 1996, file photo, Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan, left, receives the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy from Commissioner David Stern during a ceremony in Chicago. Stern is not in the Hall of Fame, he never played in an All-Star game and he is about a foot shorter than most NBA stars. But try to find an NBA legacy more lasting than Stern's, who is retiring Saturday, Feb. 1, after exactly 30 years on the job. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett, File)