The NBA Under David Stern

Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Stern inherited Larry Bird and Magic Johnson as marketable superstars in their prime and ascended to his current job less than five months before Michael Jordan arrived. But he also took over a league riddled with drug and image problems, and with several franchises teetering. The new commissioner rolled up his sleeves: The salary cap (which Stern helped to create) in 1984-85 was $3.6 million but has now grown to more than $58 million. In Stern's first season at the top, league network and cable TV contracts brought in about $33 million annually; that figure is up to about $930 million now.

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