David Stern (and Kobe?) will be leaving the NBA in 2014 so CBSSports.com created this awesome career timeline for the greatest commissioner in sports history. 1978 ...(Read more)

David Stern Career Timeline + Trophy Presentations

David Stern (and Kobe?) will be leaving the NBA in 2014 so CBSSports.com created this awesome career timeline for the greatest commissioner in sports history.

  • 1978 — David Stern is named the NBA’s General Counsel under Larry O’Brien. After being a part of Proskauer Rose, a New York City-based law firm, as outside counsel to the NBA since 1966, Stern was hired by commissioner O’Brien.
  • 1980 — Stern is named Executive Vice President of the NBA. During his time as EVP, Stern helped the NBA develop a drug testing program and a salary cap system, which helped turn the owners and the Players’ Association into a symbiotic business relationship.
  • Feb. 1, 1984 — David Stern becomes the commissioner of the NBA, which has 23 teams at the time.
  • 1984 — NBA signs a 2-year, $20 million broadcast deal with TBS for cable broadcasting rights.
  • 1985 — NBA goes from coin flip system in which two worst teams from the divisions flip a coin to determine who gets the number one pick to a lottery system. Seven non-playoff teams put have an envelope in a hopper and have them blindly drawn to determine the selection order of the draft.
  • 1985 — Kansas City Kings move to Sacramento, California.
  • 1986 — NBA signs a 2-year, $25 million TV deal with TBS for cable broadcasting rights and a 4-year, $173 million deal with CBS for network broadcasting rights.
  • 1986 — John Drew is banned permanently from the NBA because of substance abuse. Over the next nine years, eight players (Drew, Michael Ray Richardson, Lewis Lloyd, Mitchell Wiggins, Duane Washington, Chris Washburn, Roy Tarpley and Richard Dumas) were banned permanently from playing. Tarpley was reinstated in 1994 but later re-banned for consuming alcohol. Dumas was given two chances before finally being banned in 1995. Richardson, Lloyd, Wiggins, and Washington were all reinstated at least two years into their ban and never punished again.
  • 1988 — The league expands to 25 teams with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat.
  • 1988 — NBA signs a 2-year, $50 million deal with TBS and TNT for cable broadcasting rights.
  • 1988 — NBA increases number of referees officiating games from two to three.
  • 1989 — Helps to form USA Basketball resulting in the formation of the 1992 Dream Team, after initially opposing the idea.
  • 1990 — NBA signs a 4-year, $275 million deal with TNT to broadcast games on cable and a 4-year, $601 million deal with NBC to broadcast games on network TV.
  • 1993 — League institutes automatic suspensions for any players throwing a punch in a game, connecting on a punch during a game, and leaving the bench area during a fight.
  • 1993 — Michael Jordan retires, taking away the NBA’s biggest star. NBA sees a dip in NBA Finals rating from 17.9 in 1993 to 12.4 in 1994.
  • 1994 — NBA signs a 4-year, $397 million deal with TNT/TBS for cable broadcasting rights and 4-year, $892 million deal with NBC for network broadcasting rights.
  • 1995 — NBA has their first lockout from July 1 to September 12 of the same year.
  • 1995 — League expands to 29 teams with the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies.
  • 1996 — NBA has their second lockout on July 10th. It only lasts a couple of hours.
  • 1997 — NBA helps form the WNBA.
  • 1997 — Suspends P.J. Brown, Larry Johnson, John Starks, Charlie Ward, Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston for a playoff altercation between the Knicks and Heat.
  • 1998 — NBA agrees to 4-year, $840 million contract with TNT/TBS for cable television rights and 4-year, $1.616 billion contract with NBC for network rights.
  • 1998 — NBA has their third lockout, spanning from July 1st to January 20th. It forces the 1998-99 season to be shortened to 50 games for each team.
  • 1999 — NBA eliminates hand-checking altogether and forearm checking anywhere but below the free throw line extended. The league also allows any form of defense on the strong side of the ball.
  • 2001 — Illegal defense rules are eliminated and a defensive three-second rule is instituted.
  • 2001 — NBA teams up with FIBA for Basketball Without Borders program.
  • 2001 — NBA starts the NBDL with eight teams.
  • 2001 — Vancouver Grizzlies relocate to Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 2002 — NBA agrees to 6-year, $2.2 billion deal with TNT for cable broadcasting rights and a 6-year, 2.4 billion with ABC/ESPN on network broadcasting rights.
  • 2002 — NBA allows limited instant replay during games.
  • 2002 — Charlotte Hornets relocate to New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 2004 — Hand-checking is completely abolished to open up the flow of the game.
  • 2004 — Nine players are suspended after the Pacers and Pistons brawl during a game in Detroit. Ron Artest gets worse of the rulings by missing 86 games (including 13 playoffs games).
  • 2005 — NBA institutes a controversial dress code for its players.
  • 2005 — NBA begins the NBA Cares program and commits to raise $100 million, volunteer one million hours, and build 100 youth sites.
  • 2006 — NBA creates an age limit forcing incoming players to be one year removed from their high school, along with having to be 19 years of age in the same calendar year before entering the NBA draft. International players must turn 19 during the calendar year of that draft.
  • 2006 — NBA introduces a new microfiber ball.
  • 2006 — NBA announces it will return to using the old leather balls on Jan. 1, 2007.
  • 2007 — Suspends Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for leaving the bench during an altercation in Game 4 of the SunsSpurs series.
  • 2007 — Allows Clay Bennett and his ownership group to purchase the Seattle Supersonics from Howard Schultz.
  • 2008 — NBA extends their TV broadcasting deals with TNT and ABC/ESPN for a total of eight years and $7.44 billion.
  • 2010 — NBA suspends Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the remainder of the season because of a gun incident in the locker room.
  • 2011 — NBA has its fourth lockout from July 1, 2011 until December 8, 2011. It forced the league to shorten each team’s schedule to 66 games.
  • 2012 — New Jersey Nets move to Brooklyn, New York.
  • Oct. 25, 2012 – David Stern announces he will step down from the commissioner’s position on Feb. 1, 2014, and recommends Adam Silver for the position of NBA commissioner.

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