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Thunder chairman Clay Bennett issues statement on passing of former NBA commissioner David Stern

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Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at 77

David Stern, who served as NBA commissioner for 30 years, died Wednesday at the age of 77, the league announced. 

Thunder chairman Clay Bennett issued the following statement on Stern's passing. 

"Beyond his creative brilliance and forceful leadership, David was a dear friend and trusted advisor to me over the course of more than two decades," Bennett wrote. "Our business relationship took us through multiple and sometimes challenging issues together as well as great triumphs. Through it all, David led with strength, fairness and a keen sense of doing what was right for our franchises, our players and our fans. He leaves an enormous legacy and we will forever benefit from his influence.

"On behalf of the entire Thunder organization, we send our deepest condolences to Dianne and the Stern family." 

Stern was commissioner when the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and were rebranded as the Thunder. 

Related Photos
CLAYTON I. BENNETT, CLAYTON BENNETT, SEATTLE SONICS, NBA BASKETBALL: David Stern, right, commissioner of the NBA, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, following a presentation by the city to the NBA relocation committee. Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, looks on  at left. (AP Photo) ORG XMIT: OKSO104

CLAYTON I. BENNETT, CLAYTON BENNETT, SEATTLE SONICS, NBA BASKETBALL: David Stern, right, commissioner of the NBA, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, following a presentation by the city to the NBA relocation committee. Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bff1f0dc5df8ac0b19df88e5e2d51994.jpg" alt="Photo - CLAYTON I. BENNETT, CLAYTON BENNETT, SEATTLE SONICS, NBA BASKETBALL: David Stern, right, commissioner of the NBA, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, following a presentation by the city to the NBA relocation committee. Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, looks on at left. (AP Photo) ORG XMIT: OKSO104" title="CLAYTON I. BENNETT, CLAYTON BENNETT, SEATTLE SONICS, NBA BASKETBALL: David Stern, right, commissioner of the NBA, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, following a presentation by the city to the NBA relocation committee. Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, looks on at left. (AP Photo) ORG XMIT: OKSO104"><figcaption>CLAYTON I. BENNETT, CLAYTON BENNETT, SEATTLE SONICS, NBA BASKETBALL: David Stern, right, commissioner of the NBA, speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, following a presentation by the city to the NBA relocation committee. Clay Bennett, left, owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, looks on at left. (AP Photo) ORG XMIT: OKSO104</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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