Former NBA commissioner David Stern died Wednesday, less than a month after he underwent emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage. He was 77 years old.

The league confirmed the news in a statement.

"For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action," current NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. "He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals — preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.

"Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David's vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David's wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life we touched by him,"

According to the NBA, Stern was surrounded by family at the time of his death.

Stern was hospitalized on Dec. 12 after he collapsed at the Brasserie 8.5 Restaurant in Manhattan.

The New York native began working in the NBA in the mid-1960s, serving as the league's general counsel and its executive vice president before becoming the commissioner in 1984. Stern remained commissioner until he retired in 2014; he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that same year.

Stern is considered one of the most influential figures not only in basketball, but the entire sports world. During his 30-year tenure, he oversaw drastic changes to the NBA—such as the formation of the WNBA, as well as the addition of seven new teams—and is largely credited for turning the league into the modern global organization it is today.

Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant have released the following statement on Stern's death.

Read some of the other tributes to Stern below.

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