Silver takes over as commissioner from Stern

Sat Feb 1, 2014 2:58pm EST
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(Reuters) - A new era began for the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Saturday when David Stern's 30-year run as commissioner ended with his deputy, Adam Silver, taking over the helm.

Stern had stated in October 2012 his intention to retire after exactly 30 years in charge and the league's owners unanimously approved Silver as his successor.

The handover was officially confirmed by the NBA on its Twitter account on Saturday with a picture of Silver, holding a basketball, shaking hands with Stern, who is the league's longest-serving commissioner.

Above the photograph, a caption read: "It's official: Adam Silver succeeds David Stern as #NBA Commissioner."

The league will now begin using game balls bearing Silver's signature.

Stern, 71, said in a statement: "It is a source of great satisfaction to me that the NBA will now be led by commissioner Adam Silver, for whom I have tremendous admiration, respect and expectations as he and his experienced and dedicated team take the NBA to successes that were unimaginable even a short while ago."

Stern had presided over a period of expansion and growth for the NBA, both domestically and internationally, and in 2011 he concluded a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with players after a five-month lockout.

During his tenure, six NBA franchises were relocated (Clippers, Kings, Grizzlies, Nets, Hornets and Sonics) while seven new teams were brought in (Hornets, Timberwolves, Heat, Magic, Grizzlies, Raptors and Bobcats).

Stern's departure on February 1 marked the 30th anniversary of his takeover as commissioner from Larry O'Brien.   Continued...

Deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during an announcement that the Toronto Raptors will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game in Toronto, September 30, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch