A retirement and succession plan for NBA commissioner David Stern, the longest tenured commissioner amongst the four major American sports, is reportedly being discussed at league owner meetings.
Stern, 70, took office in 1984 and the league has had voluminous growth under his leadership, but his retirement has long been a rumored subject. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, a plan is underway for Stern to step down.
Stern will reportedly retire on Feb. 1, 2014, but the league will continue to consult with him after that date, Berger reported on Twitter.
Berger quoted “league sources” on Thursday that Stern laid out a specific timeline for his departure.
The league also voted unanimously to iron out a deal with deputy commissioner Adam Silver to be Stern's successor.
Stern was originally a lawyer for the league, and elevated to General Counsel under former commissioner Larry O’Brien in 1978.
Stern helped expanded the league to 11 offices around the globe, and had games televised in over 215 countries. The NBA also added seven expansions teams and relocated another six under Stern. He has also been at the helm during four lockouts, which included the 2011-2012 season.
Stern has also come under criticism for over-reaching. In 2011, he stepped in to nullify a trade that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, saying the deal was unfair to Paul’s former team the New Orleans Hornets, who is under league control.
A scandal erupted as to whether or not Stern should have intervened, and subsequently fans and the media began questioning his judgment.