SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The death of former NBA Commissioner David Stern was still felt around the league Thursday.
The Sacramento Kings, like every other NBA arena, held a video tribute and moment of silence before their game with the Memphis Grizzlies.
“You know, the old saying is he sometimes thought he was the smartest guy in the room. Well, he was by far,” said former Kings head coach Jerry Reynolds.
Everyone applauded, from fans to broadcasters to former players, because all benefited from his 30-year tenure as commissioner.
“He was good at his job. And in some of those player, owner negotiation meetings we all used to sit in he was good. I will leave it at that,” said Kings head coach Luke Walton.
“He thought the players should be a very intricate part of the income and revenue, the BRI. All that is under him bringing that to the forefront,” said former Kings player Bobby Jackson.
Stern's reign as commissioner started in 1984, one year before he oversaw the Kings' move to Sacramento. He did everything in his power to keep them there near the end of his run.
That is why the Golden 1 Center sits on a street named in his honor.
“I thought he looked after the Sacramento Kings and their fans and I think he's always been on the side of small markets when he can be,” Reynolds said. “I think he understood how important the small markets were to this league.”
Fans on Thursday called him “a visionary.”
“The guy did so much for the league, you know. But, honestly, it wouldn't be where it's at without him,” one fan told FOX40.