As the most hated commissioner in all of sports? Probably not. They are all hated to a certain degree. There are no more Fay Vincents anymore.
As time passes, he will become appreciated. He took a black sport and crossed it over into white culture. No one had been able to do that before.
He took a sport that was showing its championship on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time back in 1979 and turned it into a sport with the most global appeal of any game outside of soccer.
He made more mistakes along the way then he would care to recount or admit to, but as a businessman he was brilliant.
One day during one of the many lockouts, long and short, that took place on his watch, he was in rare deal-making mode. He called himself “Easy Dave” that day, and it was one of the few days when he actually was easier to deal with than usual.
But that nickname never stuck, which is somewhat of a shame.
He could be an ass from time to time, but he also could be a charming, genuinely altruistic person at any given moment.
If there is a sadness in today’s news that Stern is stepping down, it is that too few people got a chance to witness “Easy Dave.”
That is no one’s fault but Stern’s, but it should not go unmentioned.
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of Sheridan Hoops.com. He has been covering the NBA since 1992. Follow him on Twitter.