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David Stern Quotes

David Joel Stern

David Stern quotes: the late NBA commissioner’s best content.

“Follow your dreams and make the most of every experience… epitomized hard work, dedication and perseverance, and more importantly, compassion, kindness and selflessness.”

“You will ultimately be defined by the sum total of your responses to circumstances, situations and events that you probably couldn’t anticipate and indeed probably couldn’t even imagine.  So just keep your eyes on the course and be ready to move in different directions depending upon the crises and opportunities with which you are faced.”

“I’m not big on looking back beyond the moment in which decisions and events occur.  I’m always pushing forward.”

“I never took the negative too seriously, so I don’t want to gloat in the positive.”

“By nature, I’m a person who always says that whatever I’ve done, I could’ve done better.  But I don’t dwell on it because I’m waiting for the next time something happens and try to believe that my past experience will have helped to educate me in terms of how I deal with future ones.”

“Everyone knows that if you can keep on making money, everyone’s happy.”

“Sometimes you have to say to yourself: maybe it’s gotten as big as it should get and bigger isn’t necessarily better.”

“I think anyone who doesn’t say that they’d like people to think that they’re doing the right thing is wrong.  I mean, I’d like it to be that way, but I’ve never allowed it to influence my actions.”

“You should know what impact your remarks might have before you make them.”

“Free speech is against governments, not against the NBA.  So the players and coaches and indeed owners have been fined for their speech, which is costly rather than free.  I sort of acknowledge that there is not free speech when you agree to work in the NBA.”

“All I can say is you don’t know what’s going to be on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper.  So I take no joy in what happens to another sport, whether it’s about a perfect game or an issue of conduct.”

“The internet allows a marketer to be much more focused… with so many messages that consumers are being assaulted by, it is very difficult to stand out from the crowd.  The internet allows for more information exchange.  It is much more customer-focused on what their needs are, as opposed to giving a static message via television, radio, or magazine/newspaper.”

“I think all of the leagues are now appropriately focused on player training, structuring of the right parts of their body, player rehabilitation in the case of injury, player nutrition, player this, player that.  This should be a part of that conversation.  Can you imagine if we could create a situation where every superstar was able to play one additional year?”

“It was the Michael Jordan/Nike phenomenon that really let people see that athletes were okay, and black athletes were okay.  Defying a previous wisdom – not only that black athletes wouldn’t sell in white America, but that the NBA as a predominantly black sport could not sell in white America.”

“I’m persuaded that sports is the one place where the rules are pretty well set out, where fans are equal.  And if you got game or you’re a good official, you make it here, whether you’re white or you’re black.”

“Our officials want nothing more than to be at the top of their professional game and make the correct call.  That’s what they do; that’s their living, that’s their pride, that’s their joy.  They don’t achieve that because they happen to be human.”

“I am not sure that college is necessarily for everyone.  What I have said is that I don’t think that we should be setting an example for kids to be planning the rest of their lives around basketball, because it’s not a very good thing to do.”

“My own basketball background was ripping up my ACL in a lawyer’s league.”

“I think that players play, and they compete, and it’s not about incentives.”

“I believe that everyone should participate in democracy and enjoy doing it.”

“I love our players to become involved in the game.  Look around; they become our coaches, our assistant coaches, our GMs.  They become owners, they will come into the G League, they’ll come to the WNBA; I think it’s great.  There is an ecosystem that I’m very proud to have been a part of and helped construct.”

“I have no regrets.  I know that sounds crazy.”

“I’ve never found NBA owners to be deferential.  I never considered them to be reliant.  All that I do is knock myself out to represent their interests the best way I can and sometimes tell them, as part of my job, what they don’t like to hear.”

“Maybe I have rubbed some people the wrong way along the way and people can be justifiably harsh to me about that, but I think the people, who I ultimately serve, who are the fans, the players and the owners, are in a much better place than they were before when I took over.”

“I think you’re going to see a lot more action by the so-called FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google), plus a couple.  It’s a fun time to be in sports.”

“That’s why I’m enjoying it, because life is a learning experience and it’s really great fun to keep learning and startups do that for you.  It’s been just an incredible ride to see all of these things changing and improving.”

“I actually don’t hope for a legacy.  I think that it impedes your ability to make the hard decisions if you sit around saying, ‘How will this affect my legacy?'”

“There came a time to announce when I would be leaving the NBA as commissioner.  I picked the date that happened to be the date where I would be 30 years as commissioner.  It seemed to be a nice, round number.”

“I love my job.  I come every day having a ball.”

“Let’s do it all.”

Related: Phil Jackson quotes.

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