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David Stern Net Worth, Source of Income, Earnings, Professional and Personal Life



David Stern Net Worth

David Joel Stern was the former commissioner of the National Basketball Association and was also an American lawyer. Stern’s career as the commissioner lasted for about 30 years (1984-2014). Joel’s contribution as the commissioner helped the NBA become one of the most popular sports in the world during the 1990s and 2000s. With the guidance of David, the NBA was able to open 12 offices in cities outside the U.S. and consist of an audience worth broadcasting the matches in more than 200 territories and 40 languages.

During his whole tenure of 30 years as the commissioner of the NBA, David successfully created the NBA into a profit engine that can generate a competitive amount of revenue compared to other sports. Stern’s salary was 20 million dollars per year. Before his death, David was succeeded at his job by Adam Silver. At the time of Stern’s death, his net worth was around 135 million dollars.

What Is David Stern’s Net Worth?

Net Worth: $135 million
Source of Wealth: Salary as the NBA commissioner
Profession: Attorney and Commissioner
Nationality: American
Born: 22nd of September, 1942
Age: 77 years
Height: 5ft 9 inches
Full Name: David Joel Stern
Last Updated: 2021

David Stern Biography & Wiki

David graduated from Teaneck High School in 1959, after which he went to Rutgers University. Stern became a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity during this period, and then with a B.A. in History, he graduated in 1963. David then received a J.D. in 1966 after attending law school at Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia law school, David joined the law firm “Proskauer, Rose, Goetz, & Mendelsohn.” The firm that he chose to join was famous for representing the NBA. While working within the firm, David got the golden chance to be the lead attorney in the case of NBA vs Robertson.

This case was a historical lawsuit that Oscar Robertson, a star player, launched. Stern then left this firm in 1978 to get the position as the General Counsel of the NBA, under Larry O’Brien, the then commissioner. After being in this position for two years, Stern got promoted to become the vice president for the business and legal affairs of the NBA. This position put him up to the challenge of being in charge of public relations and marketing.

David Stern Personal Life

David took birth in Manhattan, New York City, to Anna Bronstein and William Stern. David had two siblings and grew up in a Jewish family. David’s father used to run a Jewish delicatessen in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Most of Stern’s childhood was spent in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he grew up. While growing up, Stern idolized Carl Braun as his hero and was considered a die-hard fan of the New York Knicks. One of the best things that David has often told in his interviews that he liked to do in his childhood was attending games with his father at Madison Square Garden.

David married Dianne Bock Stern later on in his life. They both gave birth to Eric and Andrew, their two sons. Stern and Dianne mainly resided along with their children in Scarsdale, New York. David started to get about 9 million dollars for his commissionership after doing so for nearly some years. Stern died on the 1st of January, 2020, after suffering from a brain hemorrhage and undergoing emergency surgery some days prior.

David Stern Professional Life

David became the commissioner of the NBA on the 1st of February, 1984, after succeeding his predecessor O’Brien. One of the best decisions that he took is considering where he decided to focus on marketing NBA stars, such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan, instead of focusing on marketing the whole NBA team. The guidance of David allowed the team to gain global attention as well as viewership. This resulted in the NBA becoming more famous than it ever was.

One of the ways Stern was able to increase the viewership of the NBA was by offering Channel 9 the rights to display and broadcast the weekly highlights of the NBA. Another way was by shipping VHS tapes for the television station run-ins in China. Setting up international training camps and exhibitions was also a very wise option taken by Stern to expand the league’s audience. The most significant step that increased the popularity of the game by a whole lot was the one taken by David that stated that recruitment of players from other parts of the world is now possible.

Other Endeavours

Other than taking the NBA to new heights of success, David also helped in founding many other leagues such as the Women’s National Football Association and the NBA G League; these both leagues are still in progress. Under the supervision of David, the NBA also took the initiative of making their digital presence. This happened with the creation of NBA, com, NBA league pass, and NBA TV. NBA Cares, the NBA’s responsibility program, was also established by him.

After his retirement in 2014, David got inducted into the FIBA Hall Of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Stern was also a part of the Council of Foreign Relations until the time of his death.

FAQs About David Stern:

  • What did David use to do before becoming the commissioner of the NBA?

Not many people know it, but before becoming the commissioner of the NBA, Stern used to be an attorney. David was also the lead attorney in the famous Oscar Robertson vs NBA case.

  • Did David Stern introduce the salary cap?

After becoming the commissioner of the NBA, Stern was the one who introduced the modern-day salary cap implementation to the operational structure of NBA players. This salary cap allowed a competitive balance among all teams, and that levelled the playing field.

  • Did David Stern implement the drug testing procedure?

Many cases needed addressing connected to implementing the drug testing procedure after David took up the position as the commissioner in 1984. Seeing such a situation, David introduced the first-ever drug testing policy in the league’s whole history.

  • Did David change the dress code of NBA players?

Just before the NBA season of 2005-2006, David accepted the league’s stance on changing the dress code policy among NBA players.


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Pavitra Kumar is a passionate blogger since 2015 and an organic digital marketer, particularly in SEO & Content. He is the Founder-Editor of Today Thinking.. 

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