Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has been hospitalized in Manhattan after suffering a “sudden brain hemorrhage,” according to the league.
The league put out a statement Thursday night saying that Stern suffered the hemorrhage “earlier today for which he underwent emergency surgery. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Stern was at a Manhattan restaurant when he collapsed, and was rushed to the hospital for surgery.
What hospital was treating the 77-year-old former commissioner, who stepped down in 2014, was not immediately known, nor was his condition.
The longtime NBA commissioner served for 30 years, from 1984 until February 2014, when he was succeeded by Adam Silver.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest commissioners in American sports history, overseeing the remarkable growth of the league — whose games are now televised in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages — as well as the WNBA, which he helped form in the 1990s, and the NBA's G League.
Stern had a hand in numerous initiatives that changed the league, including drug testing, the salary cap and implementation of a dress code.
He wouldn't even let staffers use the word "retire" when he left his office, because he never intended to stop working. He has kept an office in New York and regularly travels into the city for work on the projects he pursued once he turned the league over to Silver.
Stern has remained affiliated with the league with the title of commissioner emeritus. He has remained active in his other interests, such as sports technology.