The Los Angeles Lakers took home the NBA championship this week. But the close of the season also marked a big victory for the league itself. The NBA played its finals in a unique environment that came to be known as the bubble.
Players were frequently tested and social distancing was heavily enforced. And, the experiment worked. The NBA did not report a single positive coronavirus case from players or staff. Reporters Emma Court and Brandon Kochkodin describe how the league did it, and whether other organizations can replicate its success.
“It was David Stern being a marketing genius who turned the league around. That’s why our brand is so strong,” said (Magic) Johnson, who announced he was retiring because of HIV in 1991 but returned the following year at the All-Star Game with Stern’s backing.
“It was David Stern who took this league worldwide.”
NEW YORK — David Stern, the basketball-loving lawyer who took the NBA around the world during 30 years as its longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global powerhouse, died Wednesday. He was 77.
Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12 and underwent emergency surgery. The league said he died with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.
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 — he wouldn’t say or let league staffers say “retire,” because he never stopped working — a league that fought for a foothold before him had grown to a more than $5 billion a year
industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.
“When you live paycheck to paycheck, there are times you fall behind. There was a healthy dose of fear, but I knew that my business would grow if I kept pushing.” Getting an M.B.A. felt superfluous. “I would rather be paid to learn,” he said. “There’s not a lot you can learn in an M.B.A. program that you can’t learn online or through other mechanisms. I’m not a big fan of taking those years and spending money that you could put to better use.”
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban discusses value of real-world education, Trump, Warren, and sexual harassment on his NBA team.
(The) former high-tech executive and celebrity entrepreneur… may be one of the few people who can get away with telling a packed auditorium of Harvard Business School (HBS) students that getting an M.B.A. is a “mistake these days” — and get a round of applause in response.